Food & Mental Health

New research on Food and Mental Health

The food we eat impacts our mental health. This is evident from the latest research on the subject.

In their research paper, Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry, the authors have commented that, ” There are emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that diet is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology. The evidence is steadily growing for the relation between dietary quality (and potential nutritional deficiencies) and mental health, and for the select use of nutrient-based supplements to address deficiencies, or as mono-therapies or augmentation therapies.

Bhagwada Gita and Ayurveda on Food:

Bhagwada Gita did talk about the impact of our food on our mind.  There is a correlation between the types of food i.e.

  • Satvik
  • Rajasik
  • Tamasik

Types of food people eat determine qualities (Gunas) of the people. Ayurveda is based on the basics of fundamentals of the food we eat.

It is believed that people, who predominantly eat Satvik food are pure-minded, feel compassion for all beings and have a good control over their emotions. It’s hard to make them upset or angry easily.

People who predominantly eat Rajasik food are ambitious, aggressive, egoistic, and are proud of themselves. They have a tendency to control others. They also suffer from a fear of failure, tend to be angry, jealous and have few moments of joy.

People who predominantly eat Tamasik food may experience depression, laziness, excessive eating, drinking, and excessive desire for sex. They are mostly greedy, possessive, attached to materialistic things, irritable and uncaring towards others.

In the Chandogya Upanishad, it is written that ,”Mind consists of food. That which is the subtle part of milk moves upward when the milk is churned and becomes butter. In the same manner, the subtle part of the food that is eaten moves upward and becomes mind. Thus, the mind consists of food” (Chandogya Upanishad 6.5.4, 6.6.1, 2, 5).

Handpicked related post: 14 eating practices as per Ayurveda

Indian ancient scriptures are clear about the correlation between the food we eat and our state of mind/mental health.

Modern Science on Food and Mental Health

However, now the modem science is also finding this link.

Mental Health Foundation report Food for thought, states,” Dietary interventions may be significant to a number of the mental health challenges society is facing, but we need to know more.”

Therefore what we eat is very important for our mental state and mental health. We all know the importance of food for our physical health but we are not aware it also affects our mental health.

According to Mental Health America; we should avoid sugary and excess caffeine drinks. It can trigger panic attacks on people suffering from anxiety disorder. Skipping breakfast can cause mental fog and feeling of fatigue.  They also discourage fat, dairy, fried and refined food. These kinds of food significantly increase the risk of depression.

One can relate their finding with the three types of food mentioned above according to Ayurveda and its impact on the body. It is evident now that the foods we choose to eat do impact our mental state and health.

Next time we will deal with select food and their impact on our mental health.

Know more about Satvik, Rajasik and Tamasik food Know why your next meal will be different.



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