Are Your Eating Habits Damaging Your Emotional and Mental Health?

Happy dietician and patient having a conversation during an appointment

One’s eating habits can directly influence their physical health. Eating well can lead to your feeling more energized and healthier despite all there is to handle in your everyday routine. This is why eating a balanced diet is always advised by doctors.

But then, some people have developed a relationship with food that is not so great. There are people who overeat while others are depriving themselves of the necessary nutrients needed to keep themselves healthy. Many of them even needed a recovery plan to treat bulimia, anorexia nervosa, or other specific eating disorders.

Most people think they are already doing a great job keeping themselves healthy for eating a balanced diet. They don’t indulge too much in sugary, fatty, and processed foods. But in reality, almost everyone is guilty of habit seemingly innocent food habits that are, in reality, already damaging your emotional and mental health.

woman talking to physiatrist

The Science Between Food and Your Emotional and Mental Health

Did you know that many experts call your gastrointestinal tract the second brain? Your GI tract contains billions of bacteria that influence the production of chemical substances that sends messages to the brain. When you eat a healthy diet, you get to promote good bacteria growth, which sends positive signals into your brain, thus reflecting a good mood.

But the more often you eat unhealthy food items, this can affect the production of the neurotransmitters. Sugar, for instance, feeds bad bacteria in your gut while causing a temporary spike in your mood. Once sugar levels crash, your mood also goes downhill.

Sticking to a healthy diet enables you to minimize such fluctuations. This then helps you enjoy a happier outlook while boosting your ability to focus. This also helps in reducing your risk for anxiety and depression.

What Food Habits Are Ruining Your Mental and Emotional Health?

Now that we know what the link is between food and mental and emotional health, it helps that we also get the chance to learn what food habits we need to change. For starters, consider changing your approach if you are guilty about the following food habits.

Gulping on Your Food

You may have developed a habit of eating the best food items. But if you do this too quickly and ends up gulping on your food because you are always busy, it is time for a change. Your brain also needs time to process the fact that you are already eating.

In general, it will take your brain between 15 and 20 minutes to let you know that you are already full. Gulping on your meals can mean you are not giving yourself enough time to chew on your food and your brain to let you know when to stop eating. Chew thoroughly, put your spoon and fork down while chewing, and drink water throughout mealtime to slow down your eating.

Eating Alone

You may feel comfortable during meals knowing you can focus on what and how much you eat. But then, there can be feelings of loneliness and hostility for not having a companion while munching on meals. To avoid this, most people would turn to their gadgets.

Mindless eating is never good, especially in today’s modern world. You can get too distracted with your gadget that you end up eating too much or too little. It helps to find time to enjoy eating healthy meals with your family to boost that sense of love and belonging.

Indulging in Too Many Liquid Calories

Throughout the day, many people tend to drink too many liquid calories. This is on top of the caloric intake they get from different food items. If you are one who always drinks fruit juices, soda, and other sugar-sweetened beverages, it is time to cut down your high-calorie drinks.

Reconsider your options and opt for calorie-free beverages. Think of water, seltzers, and teas without any artificial sweetener. You can even upgrade your water by adding any citrus fruits, berries, and watermelon or opt for seltzers or spritzers with fruits.

Fasting

Skipping breakfast is always a bad idea. You need food to keep your energy levels up after fasting all night. Before you even consider fasting to help you lose weight, consider consulting with your doctor first.

Going on repeated fasting can increase your chances of developing headaches, fatigue, and even obesity. It is better to stick to a healthy diet instead of fasting for a set number of hours. Your body is already capable of removing toxins thanks to your different organs, which makes fasting an unnecessary step if you are into losing weight.

This goes to show that what you eat can affect your mood and your emotions. It helps to be more mindful of your eating habits so you can start improving them for the better. Create a healthy eating plan with your doctor and you can enjoy better emotional health and a clearer state of mind.

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