Your brain on food: Exploring the connection between diet and mental health

Your brain on food: Exploring the connection between diet and mental health
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We modify our diets to lose weight, regulate blood sugar, and lower cholesterol but what if what you ate affected your mood? The field of nutritional psychiatry aims to find the link between nutrition and mental health. While research is fairly new experts believe there is a connection between the two.

“Just as what we eat affects our physical health it also has an impact on our mental health,” Patricia Larabell, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Unity Point Health Meriter said.

Several studies show certain nutrients can improve symptoms of depression. However, Larabell said more research needs to be done before we have definitive answers.

“The reviews are very mixed so it’s hard to say one nutrient is the answer,” she said.

Larabell tells News 3 Now there are tangible things people can do within their own diets to see the benefits to their mental health. She recommends trying a Mediterranean style diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish instead of red meat.

“People who eat a plant based diet have lower rates of depressive symptoms than those people who are eating a more processed or western diet,” Larabell said.

Tonight on News 3 Now at 10 we will take a closer look at what foods you should eat or avoid to improve your mental health.

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