We already know that eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. As well as lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts can limit saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars in our diets.
Eating a poor diet, full of unhealthy and processed foods, can impact our bodies in several ways. However, you may be wondering how diet affects mental health or your physical health.
This blog post will explore how your diet can affect your physical and mental health and change your mood. As well as how to improve your diet to build a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Your diet can influence your risk of dying from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or stroke. For example, a study found that 45% of deaths in 2012 from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes were associated with eating too much or too little of the 10 dietary factors associated with cardiometabolic diseases.
Consuming too much sodium, sugary drinks, processed meat, and unprocessed red meat can increase your chances of death from the three diseases. In addition, people who don’t consume enough nuts and seeds, seafood omega-3 fats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or polyunsaturated fats are also at a higher risk of death.
What we eat doesn’t just affect our physical health, but it can have an impact on our mental health and well-being. One study found that within three weeks, transitioning to a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish and lean meat has a positive effect on depression.
On the other hand, too much sugar in the diet can increase mental issues. A study found that the participants who ate the most sugar were 23% more likely to develop depression or anxiety in the next five years. This is because sugary diets decrease brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is used in the development of mental health disorders.
Mood & Emotions
As with our mental health, scientific evidence shows how diet affects mood. Studies show that the gut, brain, nervous system, and behavior are connected. So eating a poor diet can impact our serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical, which can drastically change our mood.
The diet impacts the portion of the brain, which creates new neurons, which have been linked to mood and cognition. For example, diets full of high fat and sugar prevent new neurons from forming. Whereas diets with foods like walnuts, flax seeds, fatty fish, fruits, and vegetables can promote better neurons that improve mood.
Healthy foods such as; fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains can easily be grown in food forests, so you can have access to a fresh and sustainable healthy diet. In addition, by growing your own food, you can build healthier habits as you’ll be less inclined to choose sugary drinks or food with high cholesterol.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing your own food forest, check out our blog or purchase a blueprint!