Diet determines our state of mind, as certain foods influence neurotransmitters in the brain. Depending on age, the body needs other nutrients to improve mental health.
Diet plays an important role in modulating mental health. According to a recent study, carried out by the University of Binghamton, the effect of a diet on mental health would depend on age. The brain continues to develop until about the age of 30, which may explain the difference in emotional control, thoughts, and resilience between young adults and adults.
Promote neurotransmitters before 30, antioxidants after
Researchers asked participants to complete an online questionnaire about food groups associated with neurochemistry and neurobiology. The results showed that the state of mind of young adults (18 to 29 years old) depended on a diet that increases the availability of neurotransmitters, such as the frequent consumption of meat. Sport would also have the same effect, under certain conditions.
The state of mind of adults over 30 years of age is more influenced by foods that increase the availability of antioxidants (such as fruit). In addition, the study found that in this group, the state of mind also depended on the absence of food that activates the sympathetic nervous system, which causes a fight or flight response (such as coffee, foods that have a high glycemic index or skipping breakfast).
Protect the brain from aging
As we age, the formation of free radicals increases. We therefore need a higher intake of antioxidants to counter this process. Too much free radicals will disturb the brain and increase the risk of developing mental problems. Also, the ability to regulate stress decreases over time and therefore diet, which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, can lead to the onset of mental problems.
In short, it is necessary to adapt the diet according to the stage of brain development, to improve the state of mind.
Begdache L. et al. Assessment of dietary factors, dietary practices and exercise on mental distress in young adults versus matured adults: A cross-sectional study Nutr Neurosci
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