Nutrition and Mental Wellness

Have you ever felt down? Or perhaps anxious? In those moments, you may have found yourself reaching for a sweet snack, a salty snack, or something else to comfort you. Did it make you feel better? Did it make you feel worse?

So how does diet factor into your mental health and happiness? Research suggests that what we eat can impact our mood, in part through the communication between our gut and our brain, known as the gut-brain axis or the enteric nervous system, but also through blood sugar control and the types of micronutrients (think vitamins and minerals) that we are providing our bodies. In short, if you improve your gut health, and you can improve your mood.

Primary dietary interventions include following the Mediterranean pattern, which is one that emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods, lots of vegetables and fruit, plant-based proteins, fish, healthy fats and de-emphasizes sweets, red meats, and ultra processed foods. Other important considerations for gut health include a fibre rich diet (which you would achieve if you followed the Mediterranean pattern) and the inclusion of fermented foods.

Find out more on the interplay between nutrition and mental wellness with the PCN’s Registered Dietitian for: Recharge your Mind: Power up with Nutrition