It’s never too late to alter your eating habits for a healthier mind. Here are some foods to cut out or keep in moderation.
1. Fried food
Deep-fried and delicious, these foods make your mouth water, but they could negatively affect your life. Researchers found that fried food consumption is attributed to higher chances of depression.
A study published in 2016 concluded that the “frequency of fried food consumption was associated with lower resilience to depression.”
The participants were 715 Japanese company workers. “The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was used to measure depressive symptoms, and the 14-item Resilience Scale (RS-14) was used to measure resilience,” the abstract on the National Library of Medicine explains.
Though carbohydrates don’t often taste sweet, our bodies process them much as they would sugar. Health experts say to try higher quality carbs like whole grains.
According to an article shared by Psychology Today, “low-carbohydrate diets have tremendous potential in the prevention and management of psychiatric disorders.”
Low-carb diets could help improve glucose control, stabilise stress hormones and appetite, and rebalance neurotransmitters, writes Dr Georgia Ede.
A common preservative and colour enhancer, nitrates are found in deli slices and cured meats. Research shows a link between the consumption of nitrates and depression. More recent studies show that nitrates affect gut bacteria in a way that could cause bipolar disorder.
An analysis of over 1 000 people with and without psychiatric disorders found that nitrates may contribute to an abnormal mood state known as mania, according to an article shared by the Association of American Universities.
According to the site, the findings of the Johns Hopkins Medicine study, which was not designed to determine cause and effect, were published in Molecular Psychiatry.
Studies have connected memory impairments to high-sugar diets. The brain uses glucose, a form of sugar, as fuel. Too much of it leads to less plasticity of the hippocampus, which controls memory.
“Excessive sugar consumption among older adults showed a notable association with poor cognitive functions, but longitudinal studies and clinical trials are further needed to clarify the direction of causality and to investigate the underlying mechanism,” a 2019 study concluded.