The question still stands: What influence, if any, does diet play on our mental health? Although it remains a heavily-researched topic, there is no irrefutable study out there that can 100% confirm or deny what the relationship is between emotional health and proper nutrition. It follows the same line of questioning as the “chicken or the egg” analogy. What happens first? Does our diet have the power to send the mind into negative states of depression or anxiety? Or, does it start off as an emotional state? Does poor mental health leave us more likely to search for quick fixes that will alleviate negativity or anxiety, even if the relief is a flash in the pan? Once that temporary relief is gone, the underlying issues remain. Ultimately, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the chicken or the egg came first. Powerful, challenging emotions prey on millions of people daily but with only half the answer, many will continue to suffer.
No alternative interpretation is necessary when you hear the familiar term, “comfort food”. It is as simple as it sounds and can deliver exactly what it promises. Anything consumable that falls into this niche is there because it offers up instant relief when needed. Recipes and foods that help us cope emotionally are nothing new. Whether by accident or created in a lab with acute precision, these foods provide the brain with a rush of endorphins, which help mask the problem briefly but ultimately leave us craving more and stuck in the same emotional trenches. Certain foods are capable of producing the same or similar feelings as prescription drugs do on the brain and provide a short-acting boost or positive emotional change. The problem is that once the food is gone, most of that emotional relief has disappeared as well. The emotional ups and downs attached to some of these foods have the potential to start a vicious, addictive cycle of chasing a passing relief from the difficulties of life. Addiction to anything happens because it feels good in the beginning. While we wait for new research proving what triggers what, there should be no doubt that what and how we eat must play some role regarding mental health. There is also a wealth of research available highlighting the fact that the brain and gut work in harmony and control the mind and body as a team. Now that we understand the relationship between the brain and the stomach in the body, this should assist in solving this huge problem. If junk food is capable of tricking the brain into a false sense of relief for some, there must be healthy alternatives that will equally provide positive effects on mental health. Join us as we share what we do know about the link between nutrition and a healthy brain. Most of the information that we will cover should not come as a major surprise for most of us.