Good Nutrition: Beyond the Physical Impact


We all know that what we put into our bodies significantly impacts our health. But what many people don't realize is that good nutrition can also play a role in our emotional well-being — beyond the physical influence.


When we think of nutrition, we often think only about physical health: maintaining a healthy weight, having energy for our workouts, or getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals. But the food we eat also has a direct impact on our mental health and emotional well-being.


For example, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety, while a diet high in processed foods is linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety.


Sugar, in particular, is a major culprit when it comes to our emotional well-being. A diet high in sugar has also been linked to mood swings and disorders. And while we often crave sugary foods when we're feeling down, these foods can worsen our mood in the long run.


While there are many complex physiological pieces, one key thing to remember is that excessive sugar consumption and other unhealthy foods disrupt the bacteria in your gut, which contributes to inflammation and plays a role in your overall health — including chronic and mental health conditions.


Additionally, your brain needs premium fuel - like a luxury car - to function at its best. When we don't eat a nutrient-dense, balanced diet, it can lead to problems with focus, concentration, and memory. However, eating a vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant-rich diet helps protect the brain from free radicals that damage cells and impair brain function.


It's important to remember that food is not just fuel for our bodies but also our minds. If you're looking to improve your mental health and emotional well-being, it's important to take a close look at your diet. Ensure you're taking in nutrients that support your physical and emotional well-being.


And while there's no one-size-fits-all solution, a diet with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, leafy greens and vegetables, low-sugar fruits, high protein foods, and whole grains with complex carbs is a great place to start.


If you think your diet is negatively affecting your mental health, talk to a mental health professional or registered dietitian to learn more about nutritional psychiatry and ways you can improve your emotional well-being through nutrition.


Diane K. Schmidt Counseling Services | 8575 W. 110th Street, Suite 304 Overland Park, KS 66210 | Phone: 913.730.6778 | Email: