Correlation Between Healthy Food And Emotional Wellbeing
We Humans, having the greatest number of choices to fulfill our appetite. It isn't surprising that when we look into our options they range from traditional local food to continental to multi-cuisine. What we feel about food is either for survival or a pleasure ride for our taste buds at least in most of the scenarios. We rarely think about how our diet is related to our emotional wellbeing. For us, food is the only source where we can fuel up our bodies with energy. And Brain being the most worked-up organ requires a constant supply of this fuel. Since we are constantly shifting in our movements, breathing, and there is a stream of consciousness that flows in the mind from one thought to another. So, eating higher nutritional value foods containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which not only nourishes but also protects from oxidative stresses.
Recent research was conducted in University of East Anglia (UEA) Health and Social Care Partners along with Norfolk Country Council. Finds that Children with a better dietary plan, including fruits and vegetables, are doing better with mental wellbeing. Further, children whose consumption had five or more portions of fruits and vegetables per day scored highest on the mental health scale. Researchers took a sample size of 9,000 children from 50 schools from the Norfolk region. Where they found only twenty-five percent of secondary school children and twenty-eight percent of primary school children were eating five portions of fruits and vegetables a day and only under one in ten children were not getting any fruits or vegetables. Also, that children getting traditional breakfast compared to those who only got a snack or drink reported better wellbeing. And children from secondary school who drank energy drinks had lower scores for mental health than those who didn’t consume breakfast. There is a link hormone produced in the gastrointestinal tract which is Serotonin. A neurotransmitter that helps in the regulation of sleep, appetite, mediate between moods and helps in inhibiting pain. About 95% of it is produced in the gastrointestinal tract which has about a hundred neurons. So, it makes sense that the working of the digestive tract helps you digest food along with acting as a guide to your emotions. Another strange is that the production of this hormone is highly influenced by the billions of bacteria that make up your intestinal microbiome. Seems farfetched but good bacteria not only influence your digestion and absorption but also mood and mental health.
A Study released in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, conducted by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) reports that nearly 50 million Indian children suffer from mental health disorders and numbers will likely to rise if included population of a number of adolescents is well. It is to be noted that there are no total quality care accesses for mental health in India across all ages. And despite the seriousness and intensity of the CAMH disorders, India doesn’t have any comprehensive policy to address the mental health issues. India with a huge population of 435 million children and adolescents. With other critical disorders, including, speech, learning, etc. Further, there is a lack of focus towards the well-being of children in orphanages, the homeless, children in juvenile homes who are more prone to a higher risk of mental illness. Over the years with various healthcare policies, recently being National Mental Health (2014) providing a very minute focus on mental health for the young population. Indian Governments implementing mid-day meals to attract children to study and provide at least once a day healthy meals to those belonging to the BPL category must re-design policy catering to mental health by providing adequate fruits and vegetables.
The pressures of social media and the competitive modern school, being the reasons for rising causes of lower mental health scores in children and young people. There needs to be awareness created among the urban population and new-age parents, who can plan well-balanced diets for their children. Since, many mental health issues in adolescents can continue through adulthood, leading to rising cases of depression.