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The Impact of Diet on Brain Functioning and Mental Health

In recent years, we have increasingly appreciated how significantly our diet affects not only the body, but also the mind. More and more scientific research shows how diet can affect brain functioning and even our mental well-being. Dr. Joanna Jurek, a specialist in immunonutrition and nutripsychiatry, and psychodietitian Kinga Wittenbeck, authors of the book "Psychodietetics for everyone, or a healthy relationship with food", emphasize that diet plays a key role not only in maintaining good physical health, but also mental health.

The Emotional Role of Diet

Kinga Wittenbeck notes that food often plays an emotional role in our lives, for example when eating cake at a birthday party. It is normal and healthy when food becomes part of our rituals and celebrations. However, the problem arises when we start using food to cope with stress and negative emotions, which can lead to unhealthy habits and ultimately eating disorders.

Eating Disorders and Stress

Under long-term stress, our body may respond by increasing the production of cortisol, which disrupts impulse control and may lead us to seek relief by eating. Such behaviors can over time develop into eating disorders, which are not limited to anorexia or bulimia, but cover a wide range of unhealthy eating behaviors, such as compulsive overeating or restrictive dieting.

Psychobiotics and Intestinal Microbiota

Another important aspect that specialists pay attention to is the role of intestinal microbiota in maintaining mental health. Bioactive substances produced by intestinal bacteria can influence the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which play a key role in regulating mood and behavior. The use of psychobiotics, i.e. probiotics with properties that influence mental health, may support the treatment of anxiety, depression and alleviate the symptoms of stress.

Inflammatory Theory of Depression

Diet can also influence inflammation in the body, which is increasingly linked to the development of depression and other mental illnesses. Diets high in processed foods, saturated fats and carbohydrates can lead to inflammation, while diets low in pro-inflammatory markers, such as the Mediterranean diet, may help alleviate symptoms of depression.

Basics are the most important

Emphasizing the importance of basic health factors such as adequate sleep, diet, physical activity and hydration, specialists remind that these aspects cannot be ignored and expect that supplements will solve all problems. Getting the right amount of sleep, for example, can greatly impact mood regulation and overall mental balance.

Z Article by Katarzyna Czechowicz makes it clear that our relationship with food has a profound meaning not only for the body, but also for the mind. Understanding these relationships allows you to consciously shape eating habits that support both physical and mental health. More information on this topic can be found in the article at source.

I invite you to continue reading in the following parts, where we will continue to discuss the impact of diet on mental health and practical tips for people interested in psychodietetics.

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