Diet and Mental Well-Being
Researchers investigate which dietary modifications improve mental health.
In a recent study, it was shown that improving mental health requires individualised dietary changes based on age and gender. According to the research, differences in dietary needs between those under and over 30 are caused by differences in brain development.
To examine the effects of diet, food preferences, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors on mental health, the researchers divided the study participants into two age (18-29 years and 30 years and older) and gender (women and men) groups. The 2,600-participant research, which lasted from 2014 to 2019, was published in the exclusive scientific journal Nutrients. The researchers learned some fascinating information about how certain diets and lifestyles can mess with our minds, causing anxiety and depression, from the participants who were required to fill out a special questionnaire regularly. Here is what they discovered.
For women under 30: Eating breakfast every day, moderate to vigorous physical activity, low caffeine intake and avoiding fast food.
Women over 30: regular exercise and breakfast, substantial fruit consumption and moderate caffeine use.
Men under 30 should engage in regular exercise, consume modest amounts of dairy products, eat a lot of meat, consume little caffeine, and stay away from fast food.
Men after 30: modest intake of nuts.
Because the human brain continues to grow until about the age of 20, the researchers separated the volunteers into two age groups. Therefore, young people who eat poorly could have nutritional deficits, which might raise the prevalence of mental illness.
“In general, men are less impacted by diet than women. Men’s mental health generally tends to be good as long as they follow a largely healthy diet. However, when men start overindulging in fast food, it can lead to the onset of mental health issues.”
The dietitian also underlined that women need to focus on consuming a varied range of nutritious meals and engaging in regular exercise to preserve stable mental health. These two characteristics have a key role in supporting the mental well-being of women across all age groups.
While the study’s conclusions primarily address dietary modifications, it’s important to remember that mental health is a complex issue that may call for a multifaceted strategy. In addition to diet, other elements like exercise, sleep, stress reduction, and social support are crucial for preserving mental health.