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Link Between Nutrition and Mental Health

Learn more about nutrition and mental health, how malnutrition causes mental health disorders, and how to improve your mental health with nutrition.


Nutrition influences various aspects of physical and mental health, which include athletic performance, body weight, etc. Malnutrition can cause critical physical and mental health issues like sleep disorders, mood disorders, chronic diseases, and more.1

nutrition and mental health

How Does Nutrition Impact Mental And Physical Health?

From childhood up to this stage, we’ve been groomed about balanced diets and how they can positively affect our physical appearance. However, we weren’t told that nutrition also affects our mental health. Eating healthy can help you be more alert and give you a clear mind.

It also improves attention span and concentration. However, inadequate nutrition can cause health issues like impaired reasoning, fatigue, etc., and can also lead to depression and stress.2

How Are Nutrition And Mental Health Linked?

A nutrient-rich and well-rounded diet can help improve cognitive reasoning, mood, and energy levels. Several components are at play when it comes to nutrition and mental health. The number of carbohydrates you take to the inadequate quantity of vitamins significantly have positive or negative effects on your mental health and nutrition. Read ahead to learn about foods that enhance mental health.

Essential Foods for Enhancing Mental Health with Nutrition

Today, society’s dependence on inorganic foods is one of the leading causes of health issues. You have to stop consuming these inorganic food products and start eating your greens. Your brain and body will thank you for that, as there is an inseparable link between nutrition and the brain.

The different types of foods that improve mental health will be detailed below.


Plant foods contain phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to repair damaged body tissues and reduce inflammation of brain cells. Also, it can help to reinstate stability in neurotransmitters. Plants in this category include green tea, onion, berries, grapes, apples, kale, beets, spinach, broccoli, etc.

Lean Proteins

Lean protein consists of chicken, eggs, fish, turkey, and beans, which helps maintain a balanced serotonin level. That also helps to improve total cognitive functioning.

Fermented Foods

Many physical and mental health benefits are linked to fermentation. Most times, fermented foods, compared to unfermented foods, are much more nutritious. It helps to boost your immune system, reduce depression and anxiety and aid a more effortless and faster digestion process.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 is always good to consume, commonly through fatty fish. Omega 3 has tremendous effects on inflammatory reduction.3

Vitamins and Minerals

When folate supplements and Vitamin B12 are mixed, they boost the production of dopamine and serotonin. They’re both essential in maintaining and regulating a balanced mental health condition.

Poor Nutrition and Mental Health

Mental health issues like anxiety, depression, memory loss, insomnia, etc., are linked to inadequate Vitamin B1 consumption. Vitamin B1 can be converted from glucose into energy with the help of the brain. Without Vitamin B1, the brain might lack the energy it needs to function correctly. Below are the two common disorders associated with diet and mental health:

Mood Disorders

Depending on diverse conditions, it’s normal to have mood changes. But, if this mood change has lasted for several months or weeks, it can be termed a mood disorder. Mood disorders negatively affect daily activities at home, school, or work through unhealthy behaviors such as extreme anger. Bipolar disorder and depression are common types of mood disorders. Food and mood are forever linked and cannot be separated.

Eating Disorders

Complex conditions like eating disorders and their causes are still in the minds of scientists as they’re still looking for specific reasons.

Nevertheless, eating disorders are connected to weight issues because it’s believed that when people are desperate to lose weight, they tend to reduce their food intake excessively, without even consulting a weight loss coach or expert. That frantic action will, unfortunately, lead to nutrition and mental health damage.

Tips to Improve Your Mental Health With Nutrition

To improve your nutrition and mental health condition, practice the following:

Eating Regularly

Getting the correct quantity of nutrients daily requires eating a diverse and balanced diet. That allows your body to fight illnesses, give you a sound mind, boost your energy, and improve your mood, amongst other tremendous benefits.

Staying Hydrated

Your body is reliant on water for survival. Every organ, tissue, and cell needs a certain amount of water to function properly. As water aids proper temperature maintenance in your body, it helps remove waste and moisten joints.

Including Some Protein

Are you consuming the right quantity of protein your body needs? You may be busy monitoring your sugar, salt, and calorie intake, but it’s crucial to ensure that you’re consuming enough protein. The creation and maintenance of your cells depend on your level of protein ingestion.

Looking After Your Gut Health

To guarantee that your body system can create “good” bacteria as much as possible, ensure you ingest enough fruits (fresh), foods that are rich in fiber, and vegetables. Gut bacteria is subjective to what you consume, so it’s crucial to eat right so that good bacteria can grow in large quantities to help fight “bad” bacteria.

Include More Whole Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables in Your Diet

Eating a few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains doesn’t immediately reduce already existing health issues. Your intake of these organic foods has to be consistent as these are foods that help mental health.

Get Help for Nutrition and Mental Health Problems

mental health and nutrition

Therefore, individuals with nutrition and mental health issues should seek medical help as soon as possible. Though a healthy diet for mental health can help, it’s just a part of the overall treatment. Below are some of the experts you can consult regarding mental health and nutrition issues:4 

How a Nutritionist Can Help

A nutritionist can help you plan a nutritious and healthy diet when you consult one. They’ll educate and train you on the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and minerals you need to ingest. That can help in making a lasting and positive nutritional lifestyle change.

How a Mental Health Therapist Can Help

Mental health therapists can treat mental health and nutrition disorders. They’re skilled in helping individuals with coping strategies and how to break free from these disorders. They can also help with diet and mental health so consult one today to make that positive change. 

Find Help Today at Anew Treatment Center

The last 25 years have been a challenging yet successful recovery process for people worldwide. At Anew Treatment Center, we believe in bringing healing and lasting change to people’s lives. As a mental health center, we have helped families restore hope to their homes and help them rediscover who they are. You can consult us now to get the positive change you have been looking for in your home.

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