What Is The Science Behind Food Having An Impact On Our Mental Well-Being?
"Eating healthy food enhances our lifestyle and mood," this is the most common phrase with which we come across a lot of times. While reading a few articles about the same, I wonder what happens to our brain when we eat healthy food. It is the master organ of our body and does have an enunciated influence on development, functioning, energy levels and mood. This piece is to learn the brain response while eating food.
Brain’s action on eating food.
On sucking all the moistures out of the brain and breaking it down to the constituent nutritional content, researchers find that most weight of dehydrated brain comes from fats (lipids). In the remaining matter, there are tracks of amino acids, proteins, glucose and micronutrients. Studying the lipids in the brain, the omega 3 and omega 6 are the heroes. These essential fatty acids have link in preventing degenerative brain conditions and are good fats for our brain. Omega-rich diet is pivotal for the building and sustaining the cell membrane. These micronutrients should come from our diet, omega-rich and other micronutrients rich food will enhance our physical and mental health as they are the building block nutrients of growth and development manipulating our feelings and mood. Perpetually consuming trans and saturated fats, may imperil mental health. The intricate compound of food can excite brain cell to release dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin the mood-altering hormones that helps in improving sleep and appetite, reconcile moods, and restrain discomfort.
Amino acids completely controls the complex functions of brain cells as they contain the precursors to neurotransmitters the chemical messenger that carries signal between the neurons affecting like mood, sleep, attentiveness and weight. The meals with a spectrum of multi nutrients aid to sustain a balance union of brain messenger preventing mental health getting crooked. The constant supply of micronutrients serves the brain, and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables power the mind to attack radicals destroying brain cells, and facilitates decent functioning of mind for the distant future. Insufficiency of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acids increases the chances of mental health decline or brain diseases. Minimum measures of minerals, iron, zinc, sodium and copper are significant for mental health and speedy cognitive growth.
Quantity and method of eating.
Eating healthy food is half the battle. The amount of food in a meal and how to eat the meal is equally crucial for our mental well-being.
How much to eat?
Dietician Mrs. Rujuta Diwakar explains the intake of amount of meal in her mental meal map was one of the fitness projects of 2018. The mental meal map includes few steps in determining how much to eat in a meal.
Step 1 includes, visualize the amount of food how much would you like to eat in a meal.
Step 2 includes, serve the half of the visualized portion in your plate.
Step 3 include, take the double time to eat the meal.
Step 4 includes, if you still feel hungry start again from step 1.
The whole process sounds interesting, when we half the portion and double the time our body feels energetic and light physically and enhances our mental well-being helping us to stay happy and satisfied.
How to eat?
The another viewpoint is the manner and steps to follow while eating food. Few things we should keep in mind that helps our mental well-being.
- Eat food with concentration.
- No use of gadgets or television while eating food.
- Chew the food properly.
- Try to feel every morsel in your mouth.
- Daily try to eat at one specific place.
These are the few steps that have a psychological impact on a being. Food is a source of energy and the way of consuming energy or food is the key to determining our physical and mental health.
Top 5 food items for physical and mental wellbeing.
Physical well-being is the way to the mental well-being, so here are the top five foods that can help in enhancing physical and mental well-being.
- Black Raisins: Raisins are the dry fruits processed by drying the grapes. Looking into the nutritional values of the raisins, it has carbohydrates, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K, iron, zinc, sodium and potassium. Best intake is soaked overnight raisins.
- Jaggery: It is the non-centrifugal sugarcane. Looking into the nutritional values of jaggery, it has manganese, carbohydrates, magnesium, sugar, phosphorus, protein, iron, choline, calcium, betaine, folate, vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6. It can be used as a substitute of sugar or a spoonful after lunch.
- Dried Coconut: It is the dried fruit of coconut palm tree. Looking into the nutritional value of dried coconut, it has proteins, fiber, manganese, copper, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium. Can be used as a mid-meal snack.
- Flax seeds: Flax is the fiber crops and has some commercial uses too. Looking into the nutritional value of flax seeds, it has omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Can be used in a smoothie or soaked overnight.
- Nuts: A nut is a fruit having inedible hard shell. Various nuts can include in the diet, such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, etc. These are nutritious source and have proteins, omega 3, omega 6, magnesium, iron in common. Consume a handful of nuts in the morning tide or eventide.
These foods can easily be used in the diet creating a huge impact on the mental and physical health.
Other than eating, what to do?
Food is the source of energy, using energy is as important as the intake of energy. Few steps that can be done along with the intake of nutritional food for the better well-being.
- Yoga: Yoga is the unity of personal energy with the universal energy. Daily practicing yoga can change the life positively to another level. It keeps our emotions and hormones stable resulting in better mental well-being.
- Meditation: It is a form of yoga focusing on the breath. Controlling the breath is the key to mental well-being, as it provides stability to our emotions and hormones.
Well-being, whether it is physical or mental, can't be attained in a day. Small steps taken consistently brings the condition of well-being and help us to stay happy and satisfied.