Researchers in New York1 have conducted a study which found women require higher levels of nutrients in their diets than men do, to support their emotional wellbeing.
So ladies, you need to put in some extra work to keep healthy both physically and mentally! I’ve often been a bit annoyed to see how quickly and easily men can lose body fat when they set their minds to it, as opposed to women, who seem to have to put a lot more effort in to get results, and now here’s another thing they can take a bit easier! Darn them!
There’s a rise in the concept of nutritional (or food) psychiatry as more and more research finds that a nutritious diet isn’t just good for the body, it’s good for the brain too. “By helping people shape their diets, we can improve their mental health and decrease their risk of psychiatric disorders” says psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, an assistant clinical professor at Columbia University.
Of course, dietary changes shouldn’t be considered as a substitute for medication or other treatments for mental ailments! Anyone with mental health issues should ALWAYS see a professional rather than try and doctor themselves, but a healthy eating plan is a vital supplement for other strategies and can lessen the requirement for other things such as medication.
Here’s a couple of quick facts...
- A diet rich in nutrients like Omega 3s and zinc boosts levels of brain proteins that help increase connections between brain cells2. On the other hand, a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugars has a very potent negative impact on brain proteins3
- If you limit sugary and high-fat processed foods and opt instead for plant foods like fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains, following more of a Mediterranean diet, it can improve or help prevent some symptoms of mental disorders.
- Eating regularly can help some people keep their moods stable4. If your mood is all over the place and you feel on an emotional rollercoaster every day, you may want to look at the spacing of your meals, to keep those vital nutrients coming in.
The upshot is, this is yet another reminder that a nutritious, healthy diet is SO IMPORTANT FOR EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE!
And ladies, science backs up that you must be extra careful to take the time required to ensure your diet is high in nutrients so you can be your best self, mum, wife, sister, friend, human!
So no feeling any guilt for taking time out to shop and meal prep! Your body, mind and fellow humans deserve it!
1 Principal component analysis identifies differential gender-specific dietary patterns that may be linked to mental distress in human adults
3 Felice Jacka, President of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research.