Can food improve your mental health?

As part of the fight against mental health problems we have a very much underutilised tool – food.

Source: How food can improve your mental health – BBC News

In my personal and professional capacity, nutrition is key.

When working with teenagers and adults alike at my private practice at The Affinity Centre, Cheadle and Wilmslow, I get interested in the person’s lifestyle and nutrition. I’ve lost count of the teenagers in particular who complain of feeling stressed and anxious who regularly skip meals. 

Our bodies job, it’s sole purpose, is to keep us alive. And that means the energy supply in has to support the energy supply out. When we’re hungry and dehydrated the body becomes stressed and sends out all sorts of signals – headaches, loss of concentration, increased fear response, fatigue, lethargy, nausea,  feeling jittery or nervous. The body is super clever in getting attention.

Sadly, us humans are not always tuned-in to our bodies and so we override these signals resulting in increased cortisol levels. And increased cortisol is at the very heart of stress and anxiety. 

It isn’t just the young either, adults are often too busy to pay attention to the basics and our ever aging bodies need different nutrition at different times in our lives. For example, new parents – mums and dads – would benefit from looking at foods that support them with energy levels given sleep deprivation ultimately kicks in.

I also work with lots of women approaching or in their menopause who truly benefit from better nutritional support. Personally, I’ve got to my mid-forties and have to accept that sugar truly does mess with my system. As a cake lover this isn’t good news. Alas, when I ignore the signals (…and I do!) of aching joints, fatigue, acid reflux and irritability, ultimately I end up feeling very low and with heart palpitations. Within a week or so of detoxing from sugar my anxiety and low mood is gone.

Thankfully, there is now so much we can do to take care of feelings of stress and anxiety. Get in touch and let’s look at your personal health plan that will put you back in harmony with your body. 

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