How Dieting Helps Us Feel Better

In our life after recovery, we look for things that keep our heads above water, so to speak. After having claimed control back, we adjust our lives to better suit the new us and give us the best and most healthy life possible. We change things, both big and small, to find the right balance so that we can be the best us possible. One of the things we can change is our diet. The food we take in has a strong correlation to our mental health. The worse we eat, the worse we feel. Not only can dieting poorly affect the way we think about ourselves, but it can literally have negative, physical repercussions that we have to deal with. Changing to a healthier diet can do a lot to help our mental health, and bring a positive change in our lives. 

There have been many studies done and something that is prevalent is the effects that consuming processed foods has on our bodies. Our Western diet is full of processed foods, sugary products, and more, which all can have extremely negative effects on us. These kinds of foods negatively affect the hippocampus, an area of the brain that generates new neurons in a process called neurogenesis. A healthier diet promotes this process, while a poorer diet slows it down. This, in turn, causes people to be at a higher risk for depression. We have focused more on production and quantity, in order to grow more business and economy, instead of looking at what the food actually is that we are putting in our bodies. While discouraging, it doesn’t mean that we are completely doomed, as there are still options that we can explore. 

One diet that cases have used as an example of a healthier way to eat is the Mediterranean diet. Experts have found it to have the best products to help lower that risk of depression. It is rich in things that help lower the risk, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, methylfolate, and s-adenosylmethionine. It also has plenty of fruits and vegetables, potatoes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, little red meat, and beans. All of these add up to a diet that is healthy for you physically and mentally. 

But you don’t have to completely change the kind of food you eat either; sometimes, a lowering of calories can do a lot to help lower the risk of depression as well. Reducing your caloric intake by as little as 25% for six months can do a lot to lower depression. Of course, these calories should not be the calories you would get from unhealthier foods. Prioritizing proteins, minerals, and vitamins are important when reducing calories. It is also important to note that you should speak with a doctor before pursuing what dieticians would call a caloric deficit. If you reduce intake too much, this can help lead to the development of an eating disorder, which is obviously not what you want to do. If you choose to pursue this option, please be careful and talk to your doctor about it. 

Along those same lines, intermittent fasting can help improve our moods a lot. While fasting, our bodies can increase their production of chemicals that increase our sense of well-being, awareness, and tranquility. It can reduce anger, tension, confusion, and mood disturbances. Of course, some people have reported negative impacts, so again, please consult your doctor about intermittent fasting. It isn’t for everyone and it is important for you to carefully explore whether or not it is for you before diving right into it. If it is for you, then it can really help you. It can not only make you feel better physically and make you feel fitter as well as improve the way you feel mentally and emotionally. 

Keep exploring the ways that you can keep improving your life after recovery. The options are endless and the world is wide open for you to find what works for you. Keep your health at the forefront of your mind and make sure that you don’t let your diet fall by the wayside. Life is going to continue beyond recovery and we have to keep up with it. Improving our diet will do wonders for improving our quality of life and will help us maintain control over our mental conditions. Eating right is one of the best things we can do for ourselves, so don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who can help you form the best diet for you. You deserve to have that time to focus on improving what you put into your body. 

     If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]