mental health diet

Does what you eat affect your health?

New Year, new us? Well, not really. But the arrival of a New Year often provides opportunities to look back and reflect on the past year; and make any changes you feel necessary for a prosperous year.

And that’s exactly what here at The Metalwork’s, the management team have decided to do; we’ve started the New Year as we mean to go on…

We’d often pop to the shops to grab lunch or enjoy snacks from the vending machines, but not anymore; those days are gone.

Since returning back to work, we’ve decided that we will take on a healthy eating plan. Yes goodbye Domino’s. We’d also like to increase our physical activity. It’s only been a few weeks and although we are still in the early days of this plan, we are in good spirits and are starting to see the positive effects of ditching the junk food.

The first few days were the toughest. But now, as we take it in turns to cook for each other, we’re enjoying a variety of healthy and nutritious foods. Our main aim of this new regime is weight loss. However, it got us thinking about the positive effects a well-balanced diet has on both physical and mental health.

We all know that healthy eating and exercise will change a person’s physical appearance; they may become slimmer with glowing skin, hair and nails, they start to regain confidence that may have been lost previously.

But working in student accommodation, it got us thinking about how healthy eating and exercise can affect the health and well-being of students; especially when they’re returning back after the holidays, with exams coming up and are looking at the year ahead.

So, with that in mind, we have done some research which may help you think about what’s going in your mouth and its effect on the things you do!

How does fast food affect your mental health?

Unhealthy-Products-Food-Bad-Food

A study has investigated the effects of different dietary patterns on mental health. Young adults who ate fast food more than three times a week scored higher on levels of mental distress.

As well as this, fast foods are typically high in saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids. These saturated fats and fatty acids are a leading causes of obesity and can increase your risk of developing diabetes.

New research also suggests junk food can negatively affect your memory. Researchers have discovered high levels of insulin – caused by consuming too much junk food or a bad diet, may affect the brain. Meaning if you’ve got an important deadline or exam coming up, having a fatty takeaway the night before may affect your ability to concentrate.

There is a whole remit of information out there on the effects that unhealthy fast foods have. If you’d like to find out more take a look here.

So, now you know what you shouldn’t be eating high quantities of, let’s look at the positives of changing what you eat.

balanced-diet

It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet (one rich in vegetables and nutrients), not only for the physical health benefits, but also the mental benefits. Improving your diet may help to improve your mood, give you more energy and help you think clearly; which is just what you want if you’ve got a busy day, week or month ahead at university!

Eating a balanced diet will help you to maintain a steady weight and eating foods rich in nutrients are essential for growth and repair; helping you to stay strong and healthy and help to prevent diet-related illness, such as some cancers. A healthy diet can also lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure and decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes.

To get a better idea of what you should be eating as part of a balanced diet, take a look at The Eatwell Guide, which is available on the NHS website.

For even more tips, advice and information, visit the Host news page.

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