January resolutions: how eating healthy can keep your mental health positive

In recent years, eating healthy has been associated with maintaining your mental health. As a contributing factor that not many people actually know about in more detail, here is how healthy eating can bring you closer to healthy living:

Some figures:

It has been predicted that in the UK and other industrialised countries, we will eat more than 4 kilograms of additives every year. This is due to food’s available in shops that are, ideally, a lot quicker to prepare, as they are either half way made for us with a selection of unhealthy ingredients, or they simply just need to be heated up. This is called processed food. These kind of foods have resulted in us consuming a lot less fresh, nutritious, local produce. In the last 60 years, there has been a 34% decline in vegetable consumption, with only 13% of men eating their 5-a-day, and only 15% of women eating theirs.

The facts:

  • Foods that are high in sugar naturally give you a surge of energy as they are absorbed quickly in the bloodstream – meaning that once this surge is over, we are left feeling tired and low. A sugar comedown, if you will.
  • Foods like vegetables, fruit and wholegrain cereals are more filling, as the natural (and much healthier) sugars from them are absorbed into the bloodstream a lot slower. This also stops the possibility of mood swings.
  • These foods contain thiamin (B1), which has been closely associated with the control of mood. Zinc and folate have been proven to improve the mood of participants with depression in a number of studies.
  • Eating lots of vegetables has been closely associated with preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s later on in life – proven in a number of studies.
  • Bloating and discomfort, caused by fatty foods like burgers, pizza and chips can lead to low moods. Have vegetables ever made you feel uncomfortably full?

The facts are endless. By all means, still eat sugary foods every now and again. That will not hurt at all, it’s about maintaining balance. Fad diets have been proven to only be a short term fix for weight loss, but maintaining a balanced diet and exercise is a sure fire winner to keep the weight off for good.

Happy January!

By Amanda Elliott

 

 

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