Food For Thought…..

Can food really affect your emotional well-being?  We all know that diet and exercise are good for us and healthy foods lead to more energy and a healthy body but how can our diet affect our mental health?  A few years ago I was watching a commercial for children in another country that needed food.  As they interviewed some of the children, I can remember one little girl saying how some days she had to go to school without food for long periods of time and it was hard for her to concentrate when she hadn’t eaten.  

1 Samuel 14:24 talks of the Israelites being in distress because Saul had bound the people not to eat food until he avenged himself on his enemies, but, later Jonathan, unaware of his father’s oath, tasted honey and his eyes brightened.  We can clearly see here the effects on the Israelites and how just a little honey gave Jonathan energy and spoke to his Spirit.

More and more studies are showing the negative and positive effects that specific foods have on our mental health.  Extremely high soft drink and sugar diets show an added risk of suicidal behaviors; western diets with high fat content that are low in omega fatty acids and vitamins promote sluggish and depressed emotional and physical health, and studies are showing that fish and omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, walnuts and flax seed lend towards better mental health and a sharp alert mind.

Even more impressive, vitamin D found in salmon, tuna, small amounts of sunshine, milk, etc. helps fight bi-polar and depression while fruits and vegetables increase overall  mental well-being.

Healthy eating is an affordable option to increase your mental wellness. For those taking medications, you should not stop taking them without the expressed consent of your doctor rather talk to your doctor about adopting healthy eating behaviors to aid in your quest for optimal wellness making it routine and relevant.  In doing so, you will teach your children to stay strong and healthy and to understand the benefits of a healthy diet.  Aren’t you and your family worth the discipline and investment that healthy eating has to offer?  Bon appetite!