We all know that what we eat affects our overall physical health. But are you aware of its impacts on our mental and emotional health? Recent research has discovered that specific diets work best for certain mental health problems, while some worsen your condition. There is much to learn about how the food improves our problems, but it still shows a clear message. What we eat affects our mood, feelings, and even our cognition.
Now, the question is: what foods are not suitable for our mental health? To answer that query, we rounded up a list of foods to avoid explaining why they are bad for you.
Do you know that the central nervous system, which includes the brain and the spinal cord, controls how we process emotions? And this is just one of the body systems affected by your nights at the bar drinking alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol, as a depressant, affects the way this system works, altering your mood and behavior. Even though alcoholic beverages can liven up a party, this elation only lasts after the initial drinks. And as your intake increases your blood alcohol content, you become more tired, restless, anxious, and depressed.
Although you are better off avoiding alcohol at all costs, you can still have a glass or two occasionally.
Wine is an alcoholic drink with fruit-based compounds. Drinking red wine, in particular, is found to help us relax and destress. It is suitable for the heart, and the sleep, which makes consuming it sounds like a good thing for our overall health. But excessive wine consumption is similar to regular beer drinking; it affects your mood and mental health.
Revastrol, the compound found in grapes’ skin, has negative impacts on the central nervous system. It slowly depresses the activities of this body system, increasing your risk of depression. It can also weaken your muscles and disrupt your sleep, resulting in many other severe health problems like insomnia.
So stick to occasional wine drinking. Meanwhile, if you have not tried the wine yet, it may be better not to try it at all. This advice is primarily for people with addiction problems because the risk far outweighs the benefits you get from drinking it.
Fast Food And Junk Foods
When you are hungry, it is tempting to grab junk food or go to a drive-thru for a quick pick me up. But researchers discovered that regularly eating fast food results in higher mental distress levels since these foods have high amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, and omega-6 fatty acids. Although these fats are necessary to improve brain function, they do the opposite when consuming them over the limit.
Too many fast foods and junk foods trigger an inflammatory response, increasing your risk for anxiety and depression. So, when you need a snack, instead of fries, better grab a fruit to be physically and mentally satisfied!
Caffeine has many sound effects on the body. It stimulates the nervous system, rids the body of extra salt, and increases blood pressure. It is generally safe to drink a cup every day if we stay within the recommended 400mg caffeine per day. Going beyond that makes our body go haywire as it wakes you up, making it difficult for you to have a restful sleep.
Due to the lack of proper and enough sleep, you can be more prone to depression and anxiety disorders. It also worsens your pre-existing conditions, like the manic or depressive episodes of your bipolar disorder. So whenever you drink caffeine, always stay within the limit to reap the best benefits for your body.
We sometimes associate happiness with all things sweet. But like the other foods in this list, excessive amounts of sugar in your diet is harmful to your physical and mental health.
Heavy sugar consumption is associated with an increased risk of depression and worse outcomes for people with schizophrenia. Sugar decreases the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), responsible for our neurons’ maintenance and survival.
On the other hand, sugar does not cause anxiety but worsens its symptoms, increasing worry and fear in people with this condition. Sugar high ends up in a sugar crash that causes shaking, tension, and fatigue, which the body interprets as signs of a panic attack.
Although taking away sugar from your diet will not cure your mental health problems, it greatly minimizes its symptoms and helps you deal with stress better.
Sodium chloride, or table salt, is often considered a mood-elevating substance. According to researches, low-sodium intake can make us feel depressed. However, like many foods, too much salt can also worsen our mental health.
High-sodium foods disrupt our neurological system and make us feel fatigued, which are symptoms of depression. So although it does not directly result in this condition, it puts us at risk because of how it affects our physical health. It puts us in danger for severe medical conditions and obesity, thus stressing us out even further.
So take a grain of salt with caution and remember to avoid going over the recommended amount. You can still enjoy your food and your life with the right amount of sodium in your diet!
Some of the foods on our list may benefit our mental health in proper amounts. But, if you are aware that you are at risk for overconsuming them, especially alcohol and sugar, try to avoid them at all costs. Change the way you eat and improve your overall mental and physical health!