Around 33% of the world’s disability is due to Mental illness, which accounts to adult health worries, causing in enormous amount of socio-economic costs and miseries. Severe mental health complications including major depressive disorder, stress and anxiety and bipolar disorder distress all age groups and occur in all nations both developed and developing.
The disparity analysis of “anxiety and stress” is vital since they are a common giving symptom of behavioral and mood disorders with stress and anxiety issues. Amongst individuals aged 15-45, depressive disorders are the prime cause of disability globally.
Stress and anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental conditions. It has been found in the study that dietary pattern and food choice plays a role in the major role in anticipation and treatment of mental health-based ailments, mainly depression (of which stress is one of the main symptoms). Evasion of processed foods, for example, those high in carbohydrates or refined sugar and consuming adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids aid in reducing the occurrence of anxiety and stress.
Important nutrients for psychological health: Omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium, phytonutrients and vitamin D are extremely beneficial for brain health as they inspire the expression of Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) and thus influence neuroplasticity.
Food is an adjustable factor of systemic inflammation, which has been described as a chief cause and concern of depression rendering to the neuroinflammatory theory of this disorder. Therefore, foods with great antidepressant food score (AFS) which means nutrient-dense sources of nutrients that play a role in the prevention and promotion of recovery from depressive disorders and found to be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of depressive disorders.
Foods with high AFS:
1. Walnuts: Walnuts are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid that is a fatty acid associated with brain health and it is also a recognized fact that eating of walnuts has a straight relation with significantly advanced energy levels, lesser depressive symptoms, more concentration in doing things and improved self-control of rates of speech and movement.
2. Fish: Depression is not so common in countries where individuals eat huge quantities of fish. Fish is rich in vitamins such as D omega-3 fatty acids and B2 (riboflavin). It is also a prodigious source of minerals, namely zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, calcium, potassium and iron. Our body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids so one must take it from the external source as it is one of the most chief nutrients for mental illnesses.
3. Eggs: Eggs are a significantly high source of protein and vitamin D. They also contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that aids produce of serotonin; a very noteworthy neurotransmitter, it benefits in the regulation of mood and behavior as low level of serotonin is connected with depression.
4. Mediterranean diet: Mediterranean diet has been connected with a low occurrence of depression as compared to other plans or diets. Mediterranean diet comprises the subsequent nutrients
a) B-vitamins: Folic acid, B12 and B6
b) Minerals such as zinc, copper, iron and magnesium
c) Amino acids such as Glutamine, Tryptophan and Tyrosine
These nutrients are found in whole grains, eggs, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, cheese, beans, cabbage, corn, broccoli, spinach, fish and poultry, etc.
Nutrition definitely play’s an imperative part in the beginning as well as the severity and duration of stress, anxiety and mental disorders. Many of the merely noticeable food patterns such as poor appetite, skipping meals and a prevailing craving for sweet foods herald these disorders.
Hence, nutritional ingestion of important nutrients is effective in declining the signs of anxiety and stress to an apparent amount as it has been perceived that nutritional eating spurs a person's mental health.
(Dr Siddhant Bhargava is Fitness & Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder, Food Darzee)