You may think that eating a healthy, varied and balanced diet is only important for people who are trying to lose weight. But in fact, the idea of a healthy mind in a healthy body only makes sense when we understand that everything we eat affects not only our physical health, but our mood as well! We are not going to pretend that all your problems will magically go away if you eat properly, but it is good to be aware of the effects that certain bad habits can have on anxiety and depression. Diet can also contribute to feelings of fatigue, a lack of motivation, feeling down in the dumps or just feeling blue for no apparent reason.
1) Being too dependent on caffeine
It may seem strange when we consider that for many people, coffee is the engine that keeps them running, and helps them stay alert and functioning all day long. But caffeine can have harmful effects on the brain. By regularly drinking too much, the body turns coffee (or tea) into a fundamental requirement, without which your levels of serotonin drop to even lower than they were before. This causes anxiety, irritability and concentration difficulties.
2) Too much sugar
We consume an average of 200 g of sugar every day. Sugary drinks (sodas, fruit juices, etc.) and sweet foods are obviously bad for your health. But not only that! Sugar influences the levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is a crucial neurotransmitter which is linked to mood, emotions, sleep and even sexuality. Low levels of serotonin can lead to serious problems such as bulimia, aggression, depression and even suicidal tendencies.
Many people see alcohol as an anti-depressant. We drink a few glasses without thinking too much about what it does to us, but whether we have a hangover or not, it is not without consequences. Alcohol in fact works as a stimulant which suppresses glutamates (neurotransmitters) and at the same time, it inhibits the immune system. This explains why our actions, speech and thoughts are often slowed down. The more we drink, the more we feel the effects, and this is why certain people become aggressive and impulsive after drinking. Alcohol has a damaging effect on your mental health.
4) Eating too much fried food
Little fried treats may well boost morale in the moment (never underestimate the power of a bag of chips!), but the negative effects aren’t long being felt. And if you are in the habit of eating such foods, it may be because you are unaware of how harmful they are. They are cooked with hydrogenated oils and contain trans fats which do your body and your figure no good, as well as affecting your mental state. They can be linked to a certain extent with some depressive states.
5) Going too heavy on the salt
We find salt in many processed foods that we can buy in the supermarket, but also in our own kitchens. It can lead to numerous problems, particularly cardiac problems, but it isn’t only your physical health that is affected. Other problems can develop due to excess salt: depression, fatigue, feelings of frustration, hostility and feelings of resentment. Keep this in mind and monitor the amount of salt in your diet. In order to limit your intake, you can try a few tips such as those we shared with you in this article.
6) Skipping breakfast
Are you sick of hearing people telling you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? This is sure to be the case for people who like to get out the door quickly in the mornings, or who have difficulties digesting a breakfast. But skipping breakfast can reduce your cerebral functions… How better to start the day on a bad note! Your brain has to work and needs energy in order to be able to do so. If you suffer from periods of chronic depression, your brain needs all the energy it can get to help you keep your head above water. To stay in shape both physically and mentally, don’t neglect your breakfast!