Friday April 3, 2020

Diet Plays a Significant Role in Affecting Your Mental Health, Says Study

Proving the effect of diet on mental health in the general population was more difficult

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There is an increasing evidence of link between a poor diet and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. Pixabay

Diet significantly influences mental health and wellbeing, but this link is firmly established only in some areas such as the ability of a high fat and low carbohydrate diet (a ketogenic diet) to help children with epilepsy, and the effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on fatigue, poor memory, and depression, says a study.

The research, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, cautions that the evidence of a ink between diet and mental health for many diets is comparatively weak. “We have found that there is increasing evidence of a link between a poor diet and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. However, many common beliefs about the health effects of certain foods are not supported by solid evidence,” said lead author Suzanne Dickson, Professor at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The researchers who conducted a comprehensive review of studies linking diet with mental health also found that there is good evidence that a Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables and olive oil, shows mental health benefits, such as giving some protection against depression and anxiety.

However, for many foods or supplements, the evidence is inconclusive, as for example with the use of vitamin D supplements, or with foods believed to be associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism. “With individual conditions, we often found very mixed evidence,” said Dickson.

“With ADHD for example, we can see an increase in the quantity of refined sugar in the diet seems to increase ADHD and hyperactivity, whereas eating more fresh fruit and vegetables seems to protect against these conditions.

“But there are comparatively few studies, and many of them don’t last long enough to show long-term effects,” she added. The scientists confirmed that some foods had readily provable links to mental health, for example, that nutrition in the womb and in early life can have significant effects on brain function in later life.

Proving the effect of diet on mental health in the general population was more difficult. “In healthy adults dietary effects on mental health are fairly small, and that makes detecting these effects difficult: it may be that dietary supplementation only works if there are deficiencies due to a poor diet,” Dickson said.

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Diet significantly influences mental health and wellbeing, but this link is firmly established only in some areas such as the ability of a high fat and low carbohydrate diet (a ketogenic diet) to help children with epilepsy, and the effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on fatigue, poor memory, and depression, says a study. Pixabay

“We also need to consider genetics: subtle differences in metabolism may mean that some people respond better to changes in diet than others,” she added. There are also practical difficulties which need to be overcome in testing diets. A food is not a drug, so it needs to be tested differently to a drug.

We can give someone a dummy pill to see if there is an improvement due to the placebo effect, but you can’t easily give people dummy food.

ALSO READ: This Self-Care Routine May Help in Taking Care of Your Skin During and After Pregnancy

“There is a general belief that dietary advice for mental health is based on solid scientific evidence. In reality, it is very difficult to prove that specific diets or specific dietary components contribute to mental health,” Dickson said. (IANS)

Next Story

Time to Make Your Immune System Stronger

10 easy steps to build a stronger immune system

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Add some superfoods in your diet to build up your immune system. Pixabay

We often see how people around us get affected by viral infections and fevers easily; they have to keep making visits to the doctor at regular intervals.

Dr Sheryl Salis, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator states that this is all a result of their poor immune system and shares easy ways to boost your immunity.

Salis adds, “The immune system acts as a defense mechanism against disease-causing microorganisms and protects us from all viruses and microbes that our body is exposed to daily.

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Can you imagine having no gatekeeper to fight and defend your body against various germs and microbes exposed every day? No right? Well, that’s how important it is to build a strong immune system by improving your diet and making the necessary lifestyle changes.”

Follow these ten steps to to build a strong immune system:

1. Switch/Add Morigna Green teas/Green Teas/Green Coffees for health benefits

Sip on Superfood Moringa Green tea, it is formulated to give you all the benefits of Green Tea combined with the power of the superfood Moringa. It is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C and has antioxidants properties which helps boost immunity. It helps maintain bone and joint health, helps regulate metabolism and aids in weight management.

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Vitamin C can strengthen your immune system. Pixabay

Similarly, unlike regular coffee, Green Coffee is unroasted and hence it has three times more antioxidant potential which is otherwise lost during the roasting process. It is a health booster that is high in antioxidants which helps boost immunity and aids in weight control and management.

2. Wash the Germs Away

Well, we’ve all heard this right since our school days and that’s how important it actually is. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, particularly leafy vegetables, cauliflower and broccoli as a precautionary measure before using them.

3. A Colorful Plate

Include colourful fruit and vegetables like pumpkin, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, papaya that add flavour to your palate. These are essentially rich in antioxidants and help you build a stronger immune system.

4. The Major Player – ‘Vitamin C’

Include foods rich in Vitamin C like orange, sweet lime, lemon, gooseberry, bell pepper, berries, tomato, dark leafy vegetables, cashew fruit, kiwi, strawberry, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc. which boost your immune system.

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Did you know? Amla has the highest Vit C content which is almost equal to the Vit C of two oranges. Amla has potent anti -viral and antioxidant properties. Dried amla is as good as fresh amla as it contains substances which partially protect the vitamin C from destruction on heating or drying.

5. Add Zinc to your diet

Foods rich in zinc such as nuts, whole grains, legumes, yeast, dairy products also help boost immune function and are highly recommended to be incorporated in the diet.

6. Soups with Superfoods

Soups are one of the best options for those evening hunger pangs. Soup essentially makes for the ultimate evening snack as it is not only low in calories but also gives much needed satiety. It is a convenient and nourishing option to keep you warm and agile. These days, you get instant-ready soup with superfoods; they are so nutritious that it has up to four times the protein content compared to regular soups.

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Soups with superfoods are considered to be very healthy for your immune system. Pixabay

7. Enhance Digestion and stay Hydrated

It surely helps if you use garlic, pepper, ginger, asafetida (hing), cumin seeds/powder, turmeric, moringa, lemongrass, basil, and coriander in cooking as they help enhance digestion and improve immunity. Did you know that adding black pepper to the turmeric helps in the absorption of active ingredients in turmeric? You can mix and add it to food especially soups.

8. Spice Up Your Meal

Pepper rasam and sambhar has all the essential spices and is just right to boost your immune system. Spices tend to be very helpful in building a strong defense mechanism against viral infections. Ensure to include sambhar and rasam to your meals.

9. Kill the Virus with these anti-viral foods

Garlic, Fennel, Basil, Cloves and Tulsi have anti-viral properties that help you maintain and boost your immune system whilst you stay prepared to fight the viral infections and flus

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10. Drink Healthy Juices

Try these healthy juice combinations like Beetroot + Carrot + Spinach + Amla + Ginger or Apple + Beetroot + Carrot + Ginger + Lemon + Celery. These juices not only energize you and help you maintain youthfulness but also help boost your immune system in an efficient manner.

We can boost our immune systems by adding the above mentioned foods easily available in our kitchen to build a stronger immune system without letting us compromise on our favorite meals.

Also Read- Researchers Develop AI Algorithm That Can Diagnose Skin Diseases

It is extremely important to build a strong immune system which will work in our defense during times of distress.

Stay safe and healthy! (IANS)