Can your diet affect your mental health?

Can what you eat or not eat actually affect your mental health? It has long been know that what you eat affects your physical body. You can lose weight, gain weight, reduce inflammation in your joints and correct gut issues all by the food you eat BUT can it affect it mood? Can it affect your mental health?

New research has come out to say that YES what you eat has a direct affect on your mood and mental health. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans have some sort of mental illness. Recent studies show that the risk of depression increases 80% in teens that follow a Western diet! A western diet is the “American diet” high in fat, sugar and processed foods. AND the risk of ADD doubles.

“A very large body of evidence now exists that suggests diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health,” says Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. “A healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety.”

Here are 3 things you and your family can do today to protect not only your body but your mental health:

  1. Eat whole foods. Eat fruits, veggies, carbs, protein in their whole form. Meaning eat an apple, roast veggies for supper, grill hamburgers. Also, eating together as a family or with friends has been shown to reduce the risk of depression.
  2. Move your body. Not only does exercise help with weight loss and reducing your risk of heart disease but it also boosts your serotonin level which is a happiness hormone. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and increase the happiness level people feel. Find something you like to do and do that 5 days per week.
  3. Eat Omega-3 fatty acids. A few studies have come out stating omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to balance moods. You can get omega-3’s from fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines. If you don’t like those kinds of fish or don’t eat them 2 days per week (the recommend amount to see results) then take a high quality fish oil supplement.

Food is more important then we all think to our overall health. If you want to take care of your mind, body and spirit you do have to notice how you feel on the inside and out. Starting with these tips will help you get on a healthy path to feeling better.

If you are feeling stuck or unsure what to do, reach out to me. I am here to help you succeed. You can find me at