With ‘World Mental Health Day’ having passed us, on 10th October 2019, we at AirCook For You, thought it would be a be great to ensure the conversation about mental health was continued. As a food platform, we thought it key to speak about eating, eating habits and mental health, and to promote taking care of yourself and those around you. We understand how hard it can be sometimes, feeling alone in the midst of a mental health condition, but reaching for help, from a friend or family and a trusted healthcare professional such as a GP or counsellor.
While we understand that food is not the be all and end all for health issues, and especially mental health, we still wanted to highlight some research into the link between mental health and food. Making changes to your diet can feel like a lot of pressure, especially when they are big changes; taking small steps and making small changes first may be easier to begin with. Speaking with those around you as well as researching on trusted healthcare websites, and blogs are a great way to get started.
It’s been proven that foods and drink can affect your mood, and improving your diet may help to improve your mood, increase your energy and even help you think more clearly. Cooking from scratch provides you with a hobby, improves your diet and expands meal options.
In the UK up to 70% of people tend to eat at least 1 meal a day alone and these stats go higher for elderly. Sharing meals has proven to improve mental health. It is not always easy or possible to dine with people but there is an option to join a supper club or go for an experience. You might feel anxious meeting new people, but the benefit of eating in a company of strangers can have unexpected benefits that are sure to beat any anxiety!
We know it isn’t always easy to stay on track with food with a low mood, with either undereating or overeating acting as symptoms. Especially with preparing and cooking foods, as this can sometimes take a little while. Finding easy recipes that take less than 30 minutes, with fewer ingredients is a great way to get started on making small changes to weekly meals.
Some medications must also be managed with food. If you are on medications for your mental health, as well any other conditions, ensure you are taking them as prescribed by the doctor and instructed by the pharmacist. If in doubt, revisit your local pharmacy, and if still in doubt speak to your GP surgery.
Mind, for better mental health, has a more detailed set of tips to help explore the relationship between “Food and Mood”. They also have an example of a ‘’Mind Meal’’; something we thought was a great way to get started and have a healthy and delicious meal!