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Nutrition and how you feel

What you eat has an impact on how you feel.
What you eat has an impact on how you feel.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A lack of energy, low motivation, poor sleep, migraines, negative attitude, and depression; everyone has experienced one or more of these and may have attributed it to their bad day at work, break up, or even the weather. Most individuals can conjure up many explanations for why they feel “out of sorts.” Truth be known; the explanation may be as simple as what you’re eating.

Typically when one has a migraine he or she will take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Or, if you’ve been finding it harder to fall asleep at night you may indulge in late night snacking. And many individuals who experience mild depression have reported overeating sugary or high processed foods as a form of comfort. While all of these solutions may provide temporary relief, it is only making the problem worse in the long run.

According to a 2008 article posted in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, “Depression is more typically thought of as strictly biochemical-based or emotionally-rooted. On the contrary, nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as severity and duration of depression. Many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during depression. These may include poor appetite, skipping meals, and a dominant desire for sweet foods.”

Research shows that individuals who suffer from a mental disorder lack specific nutrients, such as essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. Upon further research it was found that when patients were given supplements to make up for their deficiencies, the symptoms began to subside. Other key supplements are those containing amino acids, because they change into neurotransmitters that counteract mental health issues such as depression (Sathyanarayana Rao, Asha, & Ramesh, 2008).

Something else to consider- poor lifestyle choices such as an insufficient diet and lack of exercise can trigger migraines and decreased sleep, which can cause a minor depression. In essence, what you put into your body is what you will get out of your body.

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Sathyanarayana Rao, T., Asha, M., & Ramesh, B. (2008, April-Jun). Understanding depression, nutrition, and mental illlness. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 50(2), 77-82. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.42391

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