One of the most powerful methods of ensuring one’s mental health is good is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Proper nutrition has been shown to be effective in managing and preventing or diminishing the symptoms of a number of different mental health disorders including schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The majority of people who report good mental health eat fresh fruit daily or fresh vegetables daily while those who report poor mental health are more likely to eat processed foods, salty snacks and sweets (Feeding Minds: The impact of food on mental health).
When it comes to trying to get optimal nutrition through a balanced diet it is important to take a few factors into account.
Be aware that moderation is key and eating such healthy foods will only have true benefits if they are incorporated into a balanced diet.
Along with making sure to include healthy foods into a balanced diets, the individual should also be aware of what minerals they can use to maintain good mental health.
Studies have shown that increased levels of magnesium, often found in nuts and vegetables, may contribute to a healthy diet (Calm Clinic). Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 different chemical reactions in the body and many studies have shown that a deficiency in magnesium contributes to several mental health problems including anxiety. Also, those who receive sufficient levels of magnesium may recover more readily from depression.
It is also helpful to incorporate iron into one’s diet, which is often found in red meat and fish. If the individual also ingests vitamin C at the same time, such as by eating an orange, this will increase the rate of absorption. Lack of iron may cause a person to develop anemia. This in turn may lead one to poor mental capabilities and exhaustion.
Copper is found in foods such as whole grains and seafood and has been shown to have a strong effect on brain functioning. Without copper, one’s immune system can be severely compromised, along with decreasing levels of neurotransmitters which can negatively affect chemical receptors in the brain.
Lastly zinc should be part of a healthy diet as well. It is often found in vegetables, eggs, red meat and more. This mineral helps prevent cell damage from occurring. Without it, a person’s vision, smell and taste may be affected and they may be increasingly exhausted and irritabile. By incorporating zinc and other important minerals into a diet, an individual can do their part to help safeguard his or her physical, as well as mental, wellness.
Sovereign Health utilizes a holistic approach to mental health wellness that incorporates concentrated, vitamin-rich rehabilitation. To learn more about our programs for mental health disorders, addiction and co-occurring conditions, you can call 866-754-3385 to speak to a member of our team.
Written by Ryan McMaster, Sovereign Health Group Writer