Nutrition & Mental Health

by | Mar 1, 2019

I was interested to read that there has been research showing a clear link between a well-balanced diet and good mental health and a sense of wellbeing.

Eating well can be defined as eating in ways that:

  • Keep our weight normal, neither too low nor too high
  • Keeping our weight stable, keeping constant with no sudden fluctuations up or down
  • Consuming all the necessary food groups and vitamins required for a healthy life
  • Making eating an enjoyable experienceAs we grow older our nutritional needs and dietary tastes change. Our metabolism slows, for example, and we often become less physically active. In addition health problems or medications can affect our appetite and taste. It is vitally important to maintain a healthy diet to sustain our mental and physical health. Here are some simple ways of doing that:
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Everyone knows that we should have a healthy intake but it is easy to slip from the recommended five portions a day.
  • Calcium helps bone health. Suitable sources are milk, yoghurt and cheese plus non-dairy products such as almonds, broccoli and kale.
  • Good fat rather than no fat. Trying to cut fat completely from your diet is difficult. The better way is to go for good fats which include omega 3s which help your mood and are good for your brain functions. These good fats include oily fish, olive oil and many nuts.
  • Eat more fibre. This can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as improving the health of your skin.
  • Think about carbs. Whole grains are healthier than white flour and sugar intake needs to be carefully monitored. As we age our senses of taste and smell diminish but our ability to distinguish sweet tastes often lingers. The result is some older people consume more sugar than is good for them.

I am pleased to say that at Sydenham House we are well aware of the importance of nutrition and we pay careful attention to each individual’s dietary needs.