World Mental Health Day 10th October 2019
Do you lead a busy life and have erratic eating patterns? Do you feel grumpy, sluggish or lack concentration during the day? Do you suffer with cravings or turn to food for comfort? Have you asked yourself if there’s a connection between the foods you’ve eaten and how you’re feeling? With World Mental Health Day on the 10th October it is important to remember that the food we eat not only impacts our physical health but also our mental health and wellbeing.
The food we eat can play a big part in how we feel, just like how we feel can influence what food we choose to eat. Physical hunger is just one of the many reasons that drive our food choices. When we are hungry our blood glucose (sugar) levels dip causing us to feel irritable and sluggish. Erratic eating patterns or over restrictive diets can be a common cause of this. It is therefore a good idea to eat breakfast and have regular meals containing a starchy carbohydrate to ensure a regular supply of glucose to the brain. Other reasons that drive our food choices might be the perceived pleasure that a certain food will provide e.g. chocolate or food eaten at special occasions e.g Christmas and birthdays. Some foods will have a negative association with them such as those linked with dieting, deprivation or illness and some will have a cultural, religious or economic significance which will affect how we feel when we eat them.
We also know that a diet lacking in variety and therefore key nutrients (such as Iron, Selenium and some B vitamins) can impact our energy, mood and brain function. Therefore, eating a healthy balanced diet with a variety of foods from the five food groups will supply a range of nutrients that promote good health and good mood. If you would like a review of your diet with a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on ‘Food and Mood’ please visit https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/foodmood.pdf.