There has been recent development in research linking nutrition to mental health. The studies show that the food we eat plays a significant role in the development and management of our mental health—the healthier we eat, the healthier our minds will be. Here are some of the ways how.
Taking the time out of our busy schedules to have a proper, sit-down family meal (prepared at home) helps families to bond, increases your teen’s confidence and provides everyone with a healthy meal. Include your teen even more by asking them to help out in the kitchen, which will not only make them feel included but teach them responsibility and healthy cooking skills.
Prevention of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders, which are also considered mental illnesses, are common in teenagers—particularly girls. Healthy eating habits can prevent the chance of developing an eating disorder or body image issues. By adopting these habits, your teen will learn to respect their bodies by being aware of what does in their body. Eating disorders are often linked to control issues, so help your teen learn to cook and prepare their own meals—that way they are calling the shots while still seeing a positive outcome.
More Exercise and Activity
Image Poprotskiy Alexey / Shutterstock
Your body and mind start to feel good when you eat more nutritious food—you are sleeping better and have tons more energy. So why not use it? Working off that extra energy is great for you physical and mental health. Not only will your body be full of energy and your muscles pumped, but your brain will also release endorphins that make you feel good and decrease depression and anxiety.
The healthier we eat, the more energy we have to burn off. The more we exercise, the more tired our bodies become and the better sleep we have. It’s a circle: one benefit feeds the next and our minds are better for it. Teens also need the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep a night, not only to help their bodies grow but to keep their minds healthy as well.
Start off by slowly adopting new habits for a healthier lifestyle. Create meal plans, prepare your school lunches the night before and make sure to exercise and get enough sleep. If you find you or your teen is still struggling with their mental health, seek advice from a doctor or counselor.
Featured image Brian A. Jackson