Given today’s fast-paced, high-stress world, it’s no wonder that an estimated one in four people experience a mental health issue at some point or another. Numerous studies have confirmed that factors like work, marriage and past traumas can trigger mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety when a person is least expecting it.
Interestingly, science is confirming that non-emotional factors can contribute to mental health problems as well. Can diet influence mental health?
Can Diet Influence Mental Health?
In some cases, a person may experience a mental health crisis despite not having any emotional triggers. That’s because diet actually plays an enormous role in one’s mental health.
Many studies have confirmed that a vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression, especially in young women. In addition to keeping bones healthy, vitamin D balances hormone levels in the brain that keep a person feeling mentally stable and uplifted. In fact, those who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are often feeling depressed because their body is craving the vitamin D that naturally comes from sun exposure.
Low levels of calcium are linked with anxiety and depression. Calcium influences the neurotransmitters in the brain that release hormones that stabilize one’s mood. Luckily, there are calcium supplements like ElemVital Calcium with Siberian Herbs that will ensure that you get the proper daily dose of calcium.
A magnesium deficiency is associated with high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that sends your brain into a “fight or flight” response. Those who have high cortisol levels will find themselves feeling on edge throughout the day and often have difficulty falling asleep at night. Needless to say, lack of sleep can lead to even more mood changes.
Many studies have shown a strong link between excess sugar consumption and mental health problems. By consuming excess sugar, high levels of glucose flow through the blood, leading to a sugar rush that is inevitably followed by a crash. Over time, the mood becomes unstable because of all of these energetic highs and lows, leading to a variety of mental health problems as well as frequent mood swings throughout the day.
Recent research has found evidence that mental health problems may be the result of food allergies for some people. Simply put, an allergic reaction sends the body into an inflamed state. Studies suggest that depression can result from inflammation. In fact, one study showed a link between an allergy to gluten and schizophrenia.
It’s important to monitor your diet and take note of certain foods that seem to have an impact on your state of mind. If you suspect that you may have a food allergy, you can get tested by an allergist.
As you can see, the foods that we consume can have a tremendous impact on our state of mind. Nutritional deficiencies, excess sugar levels and food sensitivities can all trigger various responses in our brain that lead to mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
In order to maintain healthy nutrition, eat a balanced diet and take natural supplements from a respected manufacturer like Siberian Health.