The Role of Your Diet to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Anxiety and Depression

Posted May 2023
Poke with tuna, avo, cucumber, spring onion & furikake on Corn Thins slices

Mental health and wellbeing are a vital part of health. There are many ways that you can look after your mental health including taking time for self-care, physical activity, social interactions and ensuring enough sleep. Your diet is also an important contributor to your mental health.

The foods you choose to eat can either promote or inhibit mental wellbeing. Mental illnesses are becoming more common and two of the most common types of mental illnesses are anxiety and depression.

Studies have investigated the effects of food and risk of developing depression. Results from these studies have linked whole foods such as fruit, whole grains, and fish to a lower likelihood of developing depression. Also, a diet which is higher in sugar-sweetened beverages with a higher chance of developing depressive symptoms in adolescents and adults.

Other studies also support the role of food to assist in reducing the risk of developing anxiety. With specific mention of the importance of fruits, vegetables, omega-3 fat. Also, the link between a high amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates in the diet with an increased risk of anxiety.

A common food choice which promotes mental health and may reduce your risk of developing anxiety and depression is the inclusion of whole grains in your diet. Whole grains & whole grain containing foods include - oats, whole grain pasta and couscous, quinoa, brown, red, or black rice, popcorn, whole grain crackers, whole grain bread, and Corn Thins slices. By adding a serving or more in each meal this helps to create a balanced meal.

Examples could be a breakfast made from one cup of cooked oats, with milk and sliced banana. Lunch could be 6 Corn Thins slices topped with avocado, tinned salmon and your favorite salad vegetables. Dinner could be half a cup of cooked brown rice topped with a chicken curry sauce and a side of cooked vegetables.

Snacks can also be a great opportunity to add whole grains via whole grain containing foods like 3 Corn Thins slices topped with 100% nut butter, or a yoghurt with a tablespoon of wheat flakes, whole grain crackers with hummus and vegetable sticks or a small cup of soup with a piece of whole grain bread.

Take home message:

 Your diet is much more important than simply meeting your calorie needs each day. The types of foods you choose to include influence all the cells in your body and include your brain.

To reduce your risk of developing anxiety and depression opt for mostly whole foods in your diet. A balanced diet will support your entire body and its ability to function at its best and will help you to live your best life.



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Ashleigh Felth…
Accredited Practising Dietitian
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    • Ashleigh Felth…