Nutrition for anxiety and depression

At Save Minds, we provide advice on optimal nutrition to prevent and manage anxiety and depression. Anxiety disorders continue to be one of the most common forms of mental illness globally; in 2014, 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression – a 1.5% increase from 2013. The percentage was higher in females (22.5%) than males (16.8%). What’s more, anxiety and depression are often thought to work side by side, with approximately half of depressed individuals also experiencing anxiety. It is estimated that only about a third of people who suffer from a mental illness seek treatment for it.

Key considerations

Optimal nutrition for anxiety and depression includes maintaining a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats, limiting caffeine and alcohol, and staying well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Complex carbohydrates are digested and metabolised within the body more slowly, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, resulting in you feeling calmer and more relaxed.

A healthy diet is important

Mental well-being is influenced by maintaining a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Research suggests there is a link between serotonin levels (the ‘feel good’ hormone) and gut health. The gut is where the vast majority of the body’s serotonin is produced. This means that the health of our brain is greatly affected by our gut, and vice versa, highlighting the importance of maintain a healthy diet and mental well-being. A healthy brain is essential to a healthy mind. Our Save Minds therapists, doctors and staff are skilled in recommending healthy diets to maximise the potential for a healthy gut and brain.

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