CALS Wellness Committee tip: Nutrition to support mental health – eCALS – eCALS

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The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One of the overlooked factors that can play a role in our mental health is nutrition.
A healthy diet promotes physical well-being and decreases our risk of developing chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer. This in turn allows us to be more independent, mobile, and increases our quality of life. When your quality of life is higher, you are less likely to be depressed.
Research has shown that you’re more likely to be depressed if your diet is high in processed foods that are high in fat and sugar. In addition, certain nutrients can help boost the hormone serotonin, which has been linked with mood, learning, memory, appetite, and sleep.  Studies suggest that people with healthy diets have larger hippocampal volume (the area in your brain linked to learning and mental health) than those with unhealthy diets.
What can you do to help improve your mind-body connection other than watching the fried fats and sweets?
Food is your brain’s fuel, help “feed” it smart choices.
Taiya Bach is a teaching faculty II and a registered dietitian nutritionist with the UW-Department of Nutritional Sciences, and a member of the CALS Wellness Committee.
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608.262.1251


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