Whenever the phrase, “You are what you eat” is said, oftentimes we are so immediately drawn to the physical aspects of eating, such as weight, blood pressure, muscle-building, and so on, that it is all too easy to forget that what we eat has just as much of an impact on our mental well-being. Although the effects may not be as immediate, or as obvious, they are nonetheless a critical factor to consider. 

Charles Joseph Popov, the founder of Resiliency BHS and Geographia, has some thoughts on the importance of maintaining a proper diet, not just for the physical benefits, but for the mental benefits as well.

Brain Development

First and foremost, it is important to remember that, in the same way that our bodies’ physical development is directly impacted through what we choose to ingest, our mental development is dependent on the exact same factor. When we take the time to evaluate our own diets, swapping out anything less than exemplary in terms of health value for simpler, nutrient-enriched whole foods, we are also assisting our brains with their functionality, says Charles Popov. Whether it is the simple upkeep of existing brain cells or the development of new cells and the vital connections between them, a healthy diet is the key to a sharper — and healthier — mind.

Depression and Dementia

While it is more or less common knowledge that eating right is an essential part of disease prevention, for such ailments as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and others, there are also mental diseases that we can protect ourselves against by means of a healthier diet, says Charles Joseph Popov. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between certain mental diseases and ingested foods, namely depression and dementia. For individuals partaking in unhealthier diets, their risk factor for either is substantially higher compared to those who eat healthily; this means that overall, there is even more urgency concerning healthy eating choices, as both the mental and physical long-term effects of dietary decisions play a pivotal role in our day-to-day living.

Charles Popov on Taking Control

Mental well-being has everything to do with how you feel on a daily basis — how happy you feel with your life, how often you worry, and so on. Parts of these feelings can stem from our own internal mindsets and other parts can be affected by our current circumstances. While it is completely true that we do not have control over everything that happens to use in our lives, for the most part, what we choose to eat is something that we do have a remarkable amount of control over.
All too often, in the modern world in which we reside, eating has become a process centered around the concept of convenience rather than happiness and healthiness, especially in the long-term, notes Charles Joseph Popov. Choosing to eat for more than just reasons of convenience is a way to take control over your mental well-being through what you eat; selecting a diet that you’re proud to be eating, as a conscious choice, will help you enjoy everything more. You’ll lose weight, be healthier, and feel better about yourself, all thanks to a few relatively simple alterations to your eating habits. It may seem surprising, but the right diet can indeed be a source of mental support.

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