We all must have had faced many instances where, when we see people eating totally junks and unhealthy foods and try to confront and reason them, why should they avoid spending hefty money for the debris? as it is quite hazardous for their health and overall wellbeing.
But instead of acknowledging and appreciating the concern, rather we get to hear something like this,” Who wants to live longer?, rather I would like to enjoy the life to the fullest and die early”.
As if, they would eat all the rubbish they want, for fifty years straight and then die one day out of the blue.
But the reality is quite different, harsh, and miserable. Because there is a term called sickness (or deathbed) which most of the people eating rubbish, don’t take into consideration.
Because dying one day out of nowhere, perfectly fine and healthy, is very unlikely and uncommon. Most of the people who don’t take care of their health well, get diagnosed with several life-threatening diseases when the age starts catching up, which most of the times makes them deprived of even the basic things in life, such as eating a sweet, going on a trip or as simple as climbing few stairs without severe gasping.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” — Hippocrates
Believe it or not, follow it or not, but the food is one aspect that has a profound impact on the quality of our lives. Surprisingly not only on physical health but also on overall mental well-being.
As of now, we might have thought and considered, the effect of food is limited to the body only.
But it definitely is not the case because when we think of food just as an amalgamation of the different chemical substances to fill our tummy then it is related to the body only but we think of food as a source of energy and nutrients then it completely transcends the idea of the body and our thought process, even a process as simple as having a thought requires energy which comes from nothing but the food. Let alone consider the whole structure of mind and its working and eventually the outcome of those thinking.
We also get energy from the sun but the role is very limited as compared to the food.
When we eat junk, we deprive our body of essential nutrients which are absolutely necessary for the optimum functioning of the brain.
Most of the food which is unhealthy spike the energy instantly upon eating and then plummet exponentially after some time which brings laziness and lethargy. On the other hand, heathy foods release energy slowly inside the body, which makes these food ideals to consume?
So the body can have a stock of energy for a longer period of time and contributes to the optimal day to day functioning of the body. Food like these also works like a charm for the people seeking stellar mental health and clarity.
Certain foods stimulate brain development
Plenty of products are being promoted now which helps in a child’s brain development and makes them smarter than usual. People being conscious of their child’s health and wellness procuring those wholeheartedly.
Ever wondered, as we grew up, why we gained weight over the period of time? I mean when we were a child, we were just around 5–10 kg but now we are more than tenfold of it. The reason being, the food we consumed over the period of time got digested and eventually became the body itself and added up to the weight.
Every part of our body largely depends on the food for development and optimal functioning, even the mind.
Foods like nuts, broccoli, Pumpkin Seeds, Turmeric are good for boosting brainpower, on the other hand, food like Pineapples, Tofu releases more serotonin ( hormone) inside the brain which helps in improving mood and are really beneficial for mental health.
The purpose of food is should not be only filling the stomach but to supply the body and the brain, the required nutrients so it can work at its optimum level.
Vitamin and mineral-rich foods are really important for the proper functioning of the brain
Nutrients like iron, zinc, B12, Vitamin C, Omega 3 are really important for the brain, and its overall wellbeing.
For instance, a low level of zinc in the body can cause depression. Whereas omega 3 fatty acids improve mood and help in enhancing memory and thinking ability.
Nutrients like iron and vitamin C also play an important part in fighting depression and improving overall brain functioning.
Few foods work like a charm when you are going through a bad mood
Chocolates, coffee, these few food substances are considered as an instant mood booster.
These foods contain a substance called Adenosine which is a neurotransmitter inside our brain which usually promotes sleep, and the neurons inside our brain have specific receptors from which this Adenosine can attach to.
But since adenosine has an almost similar molecular structure as caffeine (found in coffee and chocolate), these compete with the Adenosine to bind to those same receptors. Subsequently, we feel very alert after having a cup of coffee (or some chocolates).
These also release other neurotransmitters chemicals like noradrenaline, dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin which are feel-good hormones and these eventually help us in lighting up the bad mood.
Protein is the building block of physical as well as mental health
We all know the importance of protein when it comes to the body but this nutrient is also a very vital and important food substance for the overall mental health.
Protein contains a substantial amount of amino acids which play a very important role in the production of neurotransmitters (through which the brain cells communicate with each other).
Foods that are rich in protein also have high iron content. Low iron in the body can cause Anemia which is a very common nutritional deficiency syndrome.
Anemia can make a person feel more fatigued, irritated, lethargic. And if this string of unproductivity and the not-so-good feeling continues for a longer period of time then one can start feeling demotivated and depressed.
The bottom line
Foods affect the body as well as the mind profoundly. But we tend to focus most on the bodily aspect only ignoring the mind, almost completely and frequently.
Which is nothing but a sheer ignorance? Because in the end, body and mind are totally related and interdependent. Sabotaging any one of them will make our lives a total mess and chaotic. Food for mental health surely needs our immediate attention. Because,
“ A healthy body can only reside in a healthy mind and vice versa”.