During the Corona pandemic, a term related to mental health applies to people all around the world. The term is called languishing and can be described as ‘’A sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.’’ Languishing is not a depression neither a burnout, it is the feeling of being joyless and aimless. Covid makes people physically ill, but the emotional results of the corona-related measures should not be forgotten.
Even though it is easy to grab sugary or high-fat food when you do not feel mentally good, it is better to eat whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, eggs and fermented products like yoghurt. Besides contributing to physical health, food can namely also improve mental health. A healthy diet with nutrient-dense foods leads to a healthy gut, which communicates with the brain. The gut microbiome produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are happy hormones. These hormones regulate our mood and emotions, therefore it is important to have a healthy diet.
Healthful food is of course not the only factor in brain-health, but it can definitely be empowering. It is a good addition to other healthy lifestyle behaviours like good sleep, exercise and avoiding smoking. More research is needed before psychiatric professional groups prescribe a certain diet for mental health, but it is definitely something we recommend taking into account.
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