Monday, July 14, 2008

How Food Impacts Mental Health

Are you really what you eat?

I've come to realize that what I put into my body has a huge impact on how I feel both mentally and physically. If you've read past posts on my blog, you probably realize I think that Omega 3 fatty acids are wonderful. I honestly believe it is like a wonder drug -- although all natural since basically you can get your omega 3s from fish, flax seed or walnuts.

Science Daily had a great article about how food affects the brain. The opening paragraph sums up a lot of what I try to focus on in my life.

In addition to helping protect us from heart disease and cancer, a balanced diet and regular exercise can also protect the brain and ward off mental disorders.

"Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain," said Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science who has spent years studying the effects of food, exercise and sleep on the brain. "Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging."

The article talks about the importance of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to your mental health ...

Here's the full article:
Scientists Learn How Food Affects The Brain: Omega 3 Especially Important


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the blog! I am pregnant with #2, long history of panic/depression but no "classic" manic symptoms, doctor suspects bipolar due to my family history. I was reading your blog to see how you were doing post partum, and it looks like you were doing great! Did you start the mood stabilizer right after delivery or wait for symptoms? (Sorry if you included this info--I read through all pages but didn't see it.)

ALso, thanks for the post on moms who obsess about children developing the illness. I am one of those moms to some extent! I know that I have to just be the best mom I can be, intervene if I see symptoms, but otherwise let it go, but it's hard. Your perspective on this was helpful. Thanks again!

Unknown said...

Hi ... I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog. I have done really well postpartum (better than I anticipated!). I resumed taking a low dose of Lamictal during my second trimester and have continued on a lower dose than what I used to be on because I am still breastfeeding.

Good luck with your pregnancy.