It is well known that unhealthy eating patterns can cause mood swings. Blood sugar fluctuations and nutritional imbalances are often to blame. Our minds and bodies only function well with a steady fuel source from our food. Here’s how some unhealthy eating habits can alter your mood and emotional well-being:
- Skipping meals. Missing a meal, especially breakfast, can lead to low blood sugar. This will likely leave you feeling weak and tired.
- Cutting out entire food groups. Reducing the variety of foods in your diet can make getting all the essential nutrients you need more challenging. Low levels of zinc, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are associated with worsening mood and decreased energy.
- Eating too many refined carbohydrates. High intakes of unhealthy, processed carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries, cause blood sugars to rise and fall rapidly. This can lead to low energy and irritability.
Beyond mood and general well-being, the role of diet and nutrition on mental health is very complex and has yet to be fully understood. However, research linking the two is growing at a rapid rate. In recent years, evidence shows that food can contribute to developing, preventing, and managing mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders.
Researchers are also taking a closer look at why diet may influence mental health. Studies are exploring diet’s effects on gut microbiota (organisms in the intestinal tract), neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to modify structure, wiring, and function), oxidative stress (cellular damage), and chronic inflammation.
While we still have much to learn about the effects of dietary patterns on mental health issues, evidence suggests that eating a healthy diet can have a protective effect. Many believe that good nutrition is as essential to mental health as it is to physical health. Here are some positive changes you can make to improve your eating to support your mental health:
- Eat at set intervals throughout the day
- Choose less refined sugars and eat more whole grains
- Include protein in each meal
- Eat a variety of foods
- Include omega-3-rich foods, like oily fish, in your diet
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
- Get regular exercise
A healthy eating plan can energize you and help you feel your best. While good nutrition is essential to your emotional well-being, it is not a substitute for proper medical care and treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about your mental health.
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
2 Corinthians 13:9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.
Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.
2 Corinthians 10:15-16 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Ephesians 1:17-18 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 3:16-19 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, read more
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