FAQs About Good Food For Mental Health

People seem to have a lot of opinions about everything going on in the world. Some would go as far as digging dirt on other people and making it a big deal at present. That is especially true about racial or gender discrimination. However, most people seem to forget that, aside from gender and race, individuals also get discriminated against because of their size.

Unnecessary comments and opinions about other people’s bodies may seem openly accepted because some individuals can handle their mental disorders and emotional aspects better. They can easily shrug off negative comments and focus more on caring for and loving themselves. However, not all are like that. There are those people that take others’ words more seriously.

The Impact Of Body Shaming

Body shaming is the habit of making negative or inappropriate comments about people’s body shape or size. Others constantly joke about it, and the way they look at it has just been something that many individuals were brought up thinking is okay. Yet, it is never okay. Society has a biased impression that because it is what they see, they should openly talk and discuss it as if it is not that offensive. Not knowing that, for the most part, it makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable.

Though in some instances, others see it as a common approach, the individuals dealing with the unsolicited comments and opinions about their bodies soon develop mental and emotional struggles. These include conditions such as anxiety disorder, comorbid depression, borderline personality disorder, body image disturbance, body dysmorphic disorder, and more. In frequent occurrences, it makes people deal with trauma, major depressive disorder, low self esteem, negative self-evaluation, and extreme sadness. In unfortunate events, body shaming can cause people to engage in self-harm behavior and even suicide. Individuals affected by body shaming potentially develop mental health complications of eating disorder symptoms. These can lead to health conditions like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, while others develop stressful eating patterns or eating disorder behaviors.

A plus size woman looking a far, feeling confident about her body.
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Living As A Fat Person

When I was in elementary school, I was called the fattest kid in my class. I was already over 100 pounds during fourth grade, after all. When I reached the sixth grade, I gained a lot of weight and became130 pounds. Then, I managed to maintain that body weight until I went to college and suddenly became 180 pounds. Those were the heaviest of my body as far as I can remember.

I knew I had grown really big at the time due to my eating disorder. Despite my binge eating habit, I was not one of those who tried every single diet, pill, or tea out there to lose weight. I was more than okay to see my big fat body because I was mentally and emotionally strong then. I would credit that to the fact that I had years to deal with the fact that I was not slender. I would never be the model material that everyone admired or at least be able to wear a size 0. I did not easily get hurt, even when some folks would joke about me taking up two seats on the train or making the earth shake whenever I walked across a hallway. I promised myself I would never let them get to me for as long as I lived.

So I continued to love myself despite my huge body size and mental health struggle and began to focus on weight loss. Besides, my family and friends supported me, and I have never heard them say bad things about me. They never commented on my huge body, so that’s all I care about. So when others talk bad about my size behind my back or openly comment about it in public, I don’t care much at all. I was confident because I was surrounded and supported by my loved ones and the closest people in my circle. Not that my huge size matters to me at all.

What Made Me Break My Promise, You Might Ask?

Well, when you are a young adult and a fat girl like me, you would most likely want to change for a guy. When you hit that realization that most men are after for looks, you will also focus more on your appearance. Not that it would matter and mean a lot to me, though. But at that moment, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I honestly questioned myself, “who would love me when I looked like this?” It was the time when all I could think of was other people’s opinions. At least, that’s what happened to me.

I was already in my fourth year in college back then. I only had one more semester to go before I could be an adult and live independently.

A plus size black woman feeling confidently happy with her body.
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At that point, I still never had a boyfriend. I held myself in such high regard. I always said that I would never change myself for anyone. If A guy wanted me, then he would want all of me – fats and all.

One day, a cute guy in the university named Marcus showed interest in me all of a sudden. He majored in business management while I majored in finance, so we would sometimes cross paths during lectures and other inter-department activities.

I had always harbored a little crush on Marcus since freshman year, but I never told anyone that. It was mostly due to shame and worried that people would think that I was too idealistic to hope that he would like me back. I had seen Marcus date girls who were my exact opposite –  you know, skinny, blonde, and… not very smart. So, imagine my surprise when Marcus appeared at my side when I was walking to one of my classes.

Marcus started talking to me like we had known each other for years. He wanted to know how I was doing, where I was going, and all the other basic stuff. From there, we became instant friends.

My attraction towards Marcus grew when he never commented about my body or my disordered eating habits. Despite that, being around him made me self-conscious to the extent that I decided to enroll at a local gym and hire a dietitian to lose a significant amount of weight. Who knows, once I became a size 6, Marcus might like me, right?

But I did not need to wait for that long since Marcus asked me to be his girlfriend a month later. Out of excitement, I did not second guess his intentions and said yes to him immediately. Unfortunately, we had only been dating for a month when I found out that Marcus got close to me because of an ongoing bet that he had with his friends about how fast he could make me fall for him.

Deeply humiliated, I began eating as if there was no tomorrow. I would not have stopped if my friends did not get in the way. They barged into my room with a big box and dropped all the large amounts of food there. I protested, but they did not listen. They told me that I was depressed over a silly excuse for a man.

“If you genuinely want to eat, eat something that can lessen your depression!” my friend exclaimed.

Diagnostic and statistical manual studies show that eating processed foods like junk food can be linked to an increase in the risk of getting depressed mood. There are other foods out there that are natural and organic that are healthier for the body.

A woman sitting by the fridge, eating a bunch of food.
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What Nutriment Is A Natural Antidepressant?

Banana is a natural antidepressant.

What Food To Eat For The Disorder?

    • Citrus fruits
    • Dark green vegetables and leafy greens
    • Eggs
    • Legumes and nuts
    • Salmon

Do Bananas Help With Mental Health Conditions?

Yes, bananas help with the mental illness, thanks to the protein called tryptophan that it contains. When it enters the body, it can transform into serotonin, which is a mood-lifting brain chemical. There are also other foods that can help combat depression.

Are Eggs Good For Meal Disorder Issues?

Yes, eggs are good for mental illness, considering they contain essential nutrients like vitamin D, omega-3, and various amino acids. Eggs contain a lot of nutrients, mainly choline which can be found in egg yolks. Choline is good for the brain cells as it helps with reducing inflammation and promoting brain functioning.

Does B12 Help With Mental Health Problems?

Yes, vitamin B12 helps with the mental health condition. Studies show that people who get diagnosed with this disorder have low levels of this particular vitamin.

What Is The Best Natural Antidepressant?

St. John’s wort is the best natural antidepressant.

What Vitamins Help With Mental Health Conditions?

    • Vitamin B
    • Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 fatty acids.
    • Vitamin D

What Can I Take Instead Of Antidepressants?

You can take vitamins instead of antidepressants.

What Vitamin Is A Natural Antidepressant?

Vitamin B is a natural antidepressant.

What Is A Happy Pill For Mental Health Problems?

Prozac is a well-known happy pill. If you’re experiencing symptoms, you might want to try this pill.

What Vitamins Help With Anxiety?

    • Omega-3
    • Magnesium
    • Multivitamins
    • Vitamin B complex
    • Vitamin D
A happy woman eating a slice of watermelon.
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According to a journal article posted by Biological Psychiatry, serotonin release is reduced in patients with mental health issues. On the other hand, the British Journal of General Practice mentions that serotonin has effects on psychological systems and feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness. Here are some things to do to increase serotonin and dopamine naturally:

    • Consume a lot of legumes and lean protein and meat. Velvet beans can also do the trick, but you need to eat them in moderation.
    • Avoid consuming too many dairy products.
    • Take probiotics.
    • Listen to instrumental songs.
    • Try meditating.
    • Stay under the sun for less than an hour daily.

What Is The Fastest Way To Increase Dopamine?

Exercising is the fastest way to increase your dopamine level. The fewer toxins you have in the body, the more you can feel light and happy.

What Foods Are High In Serotonin?

    • Eggs
    • Lean meat and lean beef
    • Nuts or Brazil nuts
    • Pineapples
    • Salmon
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Sweet potatoes (beta carotene)
    • Whole grains (can stabilize serotonin levels)

What Supplements Help With Motivation?

    • Curcumin
    • Magnesium
    • Probiotics
    • Vitamin D

Final Thoughts

It hurt to be a laughingstock in other people’s eyes for a while. I honestly thought of putting Marcus in a headlock one evening just to hurt him back. However, thanks to my friends, I realized that he was not worth my tears and effort. There would be many Marcuses globally, and I would only feed their satisfaction by reacting to them.

To get rid of my binge eating disorder, I went back to the gym and started eating healthy to lose weight. This time, it was for my own health, not because I wanted to please anyone. If you’re curious to know more about the clinical nutrition of the food you eat, you can always ask for an opinion from a nutritionist or seek medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Coffee Good For Mental Health Conditions?

The link between coffee and mental health has not been fully understood. Coffee, which contains caffeine, is a stimulant known to temporarily improve alertness, mood, and focus. Some people say their symptoms of depression alleviate when drinking moderate amounts of coffee. However, excessive caffeine consumption can disrupt sleep patterns and increase anxiety, thus potentially worsening depression and other mental health conditions.

Moreover, coffee, and caffeine in general, affect people differently.

It is best to consult your healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance for medications and support treatment. There are foods that fight depression and other mental health conditions.

 

Which Fruit Is Anti-Anxiety?

No specific fruit is scientifically proven to have a direct cure for anxiety. Certain fruits, however, are known to alleviate symptoms, such as fruits high in antioxidants and vitamin C (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries), oranges, and kiwis. They also have anti-inflammatory effects and can help manage stress. These fruits may offer some health benefits, but this hasn’t been medically reviewed for anxiety specifically.

 

What Drink Helps Calm Anxiety Problems?

No specific drink is scientifically proven to and universally accepted to calm everyone with anxiety and its symptoms. However, herbal teas like chamomile tea, green tea, and lavender tea are often associated with calming effects. Chamomile contains mild sedative properties, green tea has L-theanine, and lavender has soothing qualities; all are known to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. While some claim these drinks might help to combat free radicals, it’s not their primary function in anxiety relief.

Warm milk or warm turmeric lattes (with ginger and cinnamon) are widely used for their comforting and relaxing effects. Though not scientifically proven, some individuals believe that the selenium in Brazil nuts might have a mood boosting effect that helps calm anxiety.

What Delicious Foods Help Increase Mental Focus?

Several foods are known to support cognitive function and mental focus. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (mackerel, salmon, sardines), chia seeds, walnuts, etc., can boost brain health and improve focus.

Dark chocolate, which contains flavonoids and caffeine, may also help in boosting concentration and mood.

Berries, such as blueberries, are rich in antioxidants, which are known to improve brain function and memory. They may also have benefits related to the prevention of breast cancer, though more research is needed.

Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach), are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron and folate, which can temporarily improve alertness and focus.

Is Milk Good For Your Mental Health?

Milk is not used for directly treating mental health conditions. However, milk, and many dairy products, can be part of a well-balanced diet. They are good sources of essential nutrients, such as protein, calcium, and vitamin D, which are all important for overall health. Milk, per se, will not alleviate symptoms of mental health issues but can be part of a comprehensive and balanced diet plan. Consuming milk responsibly, away from any potential substance abuse, can be part of a strategy to minimize risk factors associated with poor mental health.