Food and Mood: How eating affects your mental health
This week we’re talking the link between food, mood and our mental health. Inspired by the recent BBC Food Programme episode on How eating affects your mental health we wanted to share the expert opinion voiced by Kimberly Wilson, a chartered psychologist with a Masters in nutrition as well as some serious cooking experience. The […]
By elenzia / November 16th 2020 / Blog
This week we’re talking the link between food, mood and our mental health.
Inspired by the recent BBC Food Programme episode on How eating affects your mental health we wanted to share the expert opinion voiced by Kimberly Wilson, a chartered psychologist with a Masters in nutrition as well as some serious cooking experience.
The episode discusses something we can all agree on which is how lockdown has lifted the lid on mental health and its strong association with food.
Food can make us happy when we are sad, comfort us when things are uncertain, give us a sense of security by boosting our immune system when we feel run down and much more. In simple terms, food and its effect on the brain are casually interpreted as mood food. However, this episode reveals how the general population can overlook the significant impact the diet we consume has on our mental health. Both acutely and over time.
We wanted to highlight the defining points made in this episode as they are a great way to help your clients understand why eating for their mental health is as important as eating for their physical health. For example, Kimberly Wilson explains, “Think about it, you know if you have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee you very quickly feel the effects of nutrients or nutritive substances have on your brain, you know the fact that you get drunk or feel slightly hyperactive after caffeine is evidence that nutrients in the things that you consume cross into the brain and have an impact on the functions of the brain that change your perception and energy”.
She explains how much of her work sits at the overlap between food in psychology and our emotional relationship with food, which is a new and fascinating subject. People are very much on board with the idea that nutrients are of benefit and relevant to their physical health. For example, we know that we need to eat well and drink lots of water and not smoke in order to take care of our hearts. This is because generally people are on board with the idea that nutrients are important for organs when it’s from the neck down. But for some reason when we think about the most important organ in the body, the brain, people miss the idea that specific nutrients and other lifestyle factors are as relevant, if not more important for the brain.
The episode talks in more depth about the huge stigma around mental health and that it is part of the issue because nowhere else in the realm of health do we not actively try and prevent future problems like brain health. For example, a great analogy shared by Kimberly was how ‘we brush our teeth to prevent decay, we exercise to prevent or reduce our risk of heart disease, we quit smoking to prevent the risk of lung cancer’. But when it comes to the brain, we do not apply the principles of prevention, we wait until something goes wrong. For me, the episode shed light on the strange way in which we do not treat the brain with the same basic health principles that we do the rest of the body. Therefore, overcoming the stigma associated with mental health is key to helping people understand that it’s not just about eating for your physical health, it’s also incredibly important to eat for your brain health. And therefore, eating and supplementing to support the functions of the brain which our mental health and psychology rely on.
As many of you have mentioned, since lockdown, the problems your clients faced were varied, there were a few issues that stood out significantly when listening to this episode. Brain fog, lacking motivation, reduced energy leading to sugar craving and sleeplessness due to stress and anxiety.
Given these issues are all interconnected with cognitive health, we thought this episode would be one to check out and keep in mind our nutritional supplement for cognitive well-being elénzia Enhance™.