Does poor nutrition cause depression and anxiety?

Depression and anxiety rates are soaring, especially in these COVID-19 timesOpens in a new tab.

Does poor nutrition cause anxiety and depression? Recent research is linking poor nutrition to poorer mental health outcomes. There is also a link between gut health, serotonin production and depression and anxiety. Mental health awareness  and signs and symptoms of mental health has been some of the top searches, especially in covid 19 times.

movingly The brain needs quality food to continue to function at its best every day.

There has been some very good quality research to show the link between poor nutrition, gut health Opens in a new tab.

Anxiety and Depression Stats

In previous years, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that 19.1% of U.SOpens in a new tab.

Children between the ages of 13 and 18 years old suffer anxiety in the range of 25.1%. Anxiety and depression, unfortunately, are common mental disorders that affect a total of 40 million individuals every year. Depression is one of the main reasons why individuals take their own life.

However, these stats have drastically changed since the advent of the Coronavirus and its total overall mounting effects in 2019 and 2020. Currently, due to this viral pandemic, 1/3 of Americans are displaying signs of anxiety and/or depression.

The Census Bureau reports that mental health issues have jumped to a population showing that 24% are demonstrating major depressive disorders and 30% are showing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders. This is not normal!

Help Change Your Mood With Nutritious Habits


More poor dietary and mood changing diseases may have a causal link. Opens in a new tab.

Excellent nutrition in early life has been explored in many research studies, which have found that a poor diet is linked to reduced mental health in children and adolescence. Opens in a new tab.

Those poor food choices include anything “processed” and unhealthy saturated fat. Eating highly processed and sugary foods leads to sudden peaks and valleys according to our blood.

A poor diet lacking in the required vitamins and minerals causes fatigue, irritability, insomnia, as well as anxiety and depression.Opens in a new tab.

Anxiety vs. Depression


Anxiety and depression are two different conditions, yet they are interrelated. You can start being filled with anxiety that can turn into depression.

The symptoms of anxietyOpens in a new tab.

Depression symptoms iOpens in a new tab.

There are many therapeutic and medical treatments for both disorders.Opens in a new tab.

Better Mental Health


Many clinical studies have discovered that people of all ages whose dietary requirements are of poor-quality can affect their mental health. Opens in a new tab.

Eating a regular diet of processed foods, fried foods, or a high-fat diet aids in the existence of poor and foggy mental health.

On the other hand, a regular diet of fresh fruits, veggies, seafood, beansOpens in a new tab.

When we talk about mental health, we are referring to our “cerebrum system,” or simply the “brain.” Every thought, movement, breathe, pumping heart, emotions, and more that are directed and controlled by our brain.

Mental Health: Good Bacteria and Bad Bacteria


Our digestive system helps to guide our emotions. Scientifically, our bodies products chemical nerve cells known as “serotonin.”

Serotonin helps to give us a good night’s sleep, guides our appetites, improves our moods, and exhibits pain when we become hurt. Serotonin is produced in our gastrointestinal tract, where our “good bacteria” resides.

These bacteria protect our body against invasive toxins or “bad” bacteria. Good gastrointestinal bacteria fight these inflammations and guides how well we absorb nutrients from what we eat.

Good bacteria also aid in activating our neural pathways which is a direct link to our brain. Food as nutrition is medicineOpens in a new tab. The National Institute of Mental HealthOpens in a new tab.

I have written an article directed at gut health Opens in a new tab.

Download my free gut health guide

Foods To Help Depression and Anxiety


When there is an onset of anxiety that can lead to depression, this is an ongoing disease that continues to be researched. However, physicians have learned that what we eat helps to keep our neural system and the body, working well and healthy.

San Giovanni Lupatoto Our food contains nutrients like vitamins, compounds, minerals, and more that directly affect how we feel and function.

Here are just a few goods that go along way in helping to control our anxiety and lessen depressive emotions:

  • Fibre – foods filled with fibre helps our body to absorb excess glucose or food sugars. Fresh fruits like apples, pears, oranges, and berries are rich in fibre. Other fibre-filled foods include vegetables like carrots, brussels sprouts, peas, corn, potatoes, etc. Grains, oatmeal, nuts, beans, are also fibre-enriched foods.
  • Antioxidants – antioxidant foods fight inflammation in all parts of the human body. Anti-inflammatory foods include leafy green veggies, berries, salmon, dark chocolate, and certain spices like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, curry, paprika, and more.
  • Folate – Folate is vitamin B which helps to construct our DNA cells plus it produces red blood cells. Foods high in folate include green and leafy vegetables, legumes, eggs, citrus fruits, and lentils are filled with folate. Leafy veggies contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help lessen inflammation of the brain, which is causes depression. They help to keep our immune system strong, which aids in keeping us physically and mentally healthy.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium fortifies our muscle and nerve cells. This mineral is essential to our digestive system, thus our brain because any irregularities in this region of the body can cause anxiety and depression. When you include foods like deep dark chocolate and nuts like almonds and/or cashews, you are fortifying your mental health. Other foods containing magnesium are bananas, beans, green and leafy veggies.

We Are What We Eat


Harvard Medical SchoolOpens in a new tab.

As previously stated, the link between our gut and our brain is vital because any irregularities in either system destabilize our mood or emotions.

If it was not for the medical community keeping us informed of our health, many of us would not know that, yes, there is a relationship between nutrition, anxiety, and depression.

Typically, depression is thought to be a biochemical or an emotional problem rather than having a basis in nutrition. The National Institute of HealthOpens in a new tab.

In the research of neuroscience,Opens in a new tab.

This helps to answer the question does poor nutrition cause anxiety and depression? Poor diets will worsen mood disorders. But an enriched nutritious diet can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Take home message


A healthier diet is part of the mood changing anxiety and depression environment. Also, there are other factors, especially directed by a visit to your doctor. Dealing with a body and mental illnesses takes an integrative approach.

Eating processed foods day in and day out is contributing to chronic physical and mental symptoms. Do not hesitate to seek help when you start to exhibit any of the symptoms from anxiety and depression identified above.

Healthier foods help to repair and decrease inflammation in the body’s brain cells. It has been determined that people exhibiting anxiety symptoms and/or depression symptoms produce a certain type of chemical enzyme. Unfortunately, this enzyme (MAO) breaks down the neurotransmitter chemicals (serotonin for one) that regulate our moods.

clgen-casino-it Remember the relationship between food and the brain. Foods high in levels of what the brain needs to function well, like berries, fruits, and veggies help to increase our serotonin and other neurotransmitter agents.

If we provide our brain with excess fatty foods or foods high in sugar, on a daily basis, inflammation in the brain forms feelings of anxiousness, stress, and depression.

Eliminating inflammation in the brain created by the types of foods we eat not only affects our physical health but our mental well-being also.

Can eating healthier prevent anxiety or depression? Clinical research and studies have reported that when given a healthy diet of nutritious foods, individuals were happier and were able to handle problems a lot easier.

No, food alone does not prevent mood changes, but it does provide the foundation needed for clarity, restfulness, and strength. In addition to eating healthier, you need to become more active. Exercise helps to release endorphins in the brain, which act as a natural antidepressant. We can manage our feelings of anxiety and depression symptoms by combining medical remedies with a good diet and exercise.

If you found this topic interesting, check out my blog on the best Youtube channels to learn and support mental health and mental illness. Opens in a new tab.


Emilie MASI

Registered Nurse, Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice Graduate Diploma of Wound Care Masters of Wound Care

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