Nutrition for Adult Mental Health

Definition

The process of being nourished; specifically the processes by which the body takes in and utilizes food substances to maintain physical and mental functions.  Additionally, nutrition is the study of food and nutrients, including understanding their action, interaction, and balance within the body and how they relate to health. 

Benefits and Uses

  • Improves mood
  • Promotes healthy sleep cycles
  • Provides energy
  • Improves alertness and concentration
  • Promotes a positive outlook on life and increases problem solving abilities
  • Decreases stress
  • Promotes a healthy and strong body in order to support clear and stable mental function
  • Benefits a variety of medical disorders

What to expect

As a general rule, the closer a food is to how nature created it, the more nutritious it will be.  As foods are processed, they lose nutrients which then causes them to be less beneficial for the mind and body.  It is important to eat a balance of foods, including carbohydrates (such as brown rice or whole grain breads), proteins (such as chicken, fish, or beans), and healthy fats (such as nuts, avocado, or olive oil).  It is important to eat a variety of foods in your diet, as each food has diverse nutritional benefits.  Every person has unique nutrient needs and sensitivities, so what is good for one person may not be as beneficial for another person.  By controlling the portion of food, it provides an opportunity to eat the foods you like while still ensuring you receive proper nutritional balance.

Who Should Consider It:

You should consider incorporating more and/or different nutrition into your diet if you:

  • Have feelings of depression
  • Regularly feel irritable or moody
  • Have difficulty sleeping
  • Often have a feeling of being hyper and/or jittery followed by feeling very fatigued
  • Struggle to concentrate during your normal activities
  • Often feel apathetic or tired
  • Regularly feel anxious or restless
  • Experience frequent headaches

More Information

http://choosemyplate.gov/