The Impact Your Diet Has on Your Mental Health

| 3/8/2018 10:31:00 AM

Tags: Mental Health, Diet, Brain Health, Jennifer Landis,

You are what you eat. You hear that often as a way to stress the importance of good nutrition. We don’t really think about it, but it is true that the food we eat becomes part of our bodies. So when we eye that bag of potato chips, thinking about it turning into an increase in our waistline or another chin can make us reconsider purchasing it.

Eating too many “bad” foods like potato chips or cookies and other high fat and sugar, low nutrient foods can give us unhealthy bodies. Obesity is the root of many physical health problems, so controlling our food intake is essential.

But did you know that unhealthy eating also affects our mental health? In addition to gaining weight or increasing your cholesterol levels, you could be compromising your mental health by eating too many of the wrong kinds of food or avoiding the healthier choices.

fruit, yogurt and granola breakfast bowl
unsplash-logo Jannis Brandt

Hearty Hippocampi

Australian researchers found a connection between the quality of one’s diet and common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Physical evidence was found by examining the hippocampus, a part of the brain which helps develop learning and memory and is important to mental health.

While taking many factors into account, such as socioeconomic status and family history of mental illness, researchers concluded diet affected the size of the hippocampus. Adults who ate a generally healthy diet typically had larger hippocampi, and those who had a poor diet had smaller hippocampi.

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