Mental Health & the Impact of Nutrition

 

Often described as the silent pandemic, mental illness is impacting a large number of our youth and adults, with 1 in 5 adults aged 15 years and over being diagnosed with a mood and/or anxiety disorder (Ministry of Health, 2019). With a disproportionate amount of support and aid available, people are struggling to find what they can do to reduce their feelings of distress.

The conversations we are having in society today around mental health have been a significant improvement from the previous reality of social stigma that surrounded the topic. Struggles with mental health have always been present in society, however, we believe this generation has pushed for it to be more recognised, accepted, and addressed.

We are passionate about mental health and seek to understand the overwhelming struggles of our communities, in order to do our part. We recognise that poor mental health leads to everyday activities and socialising becoming straining and difficult to muster the strength to engage in. However, we encourage you to not undermine the small things that can help in more ways that can be perceived.

We believe support for mental health can be found in various ways. Becoming stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious from work, daily life commitments and obligations, or other significant factors, means we struggle to do the little things for our physical health, making us feel worse. Improved wellbeing involves considering what we are consuming internally, as having a balanced diet with plenty of nutrition can positively affect our mental health.

Several studies have documented the link between nutrition and wellbeing, noting that a healthy diet leads to more than increased energy and better physical performance, as it also influences our mood.

Our brain is constantly working and receiving signals, even while we’re sleeping. It requires a proper supply of fuel to perform well and allow our bodies to function properly. You may have noticed the type of fuel you provide it with makes a difference as various types of food impacts you in different ways. Some food, such as chips, and sugary treats provide a quick boost of happiness that is short-lived, while some other food with higher nutritional benefits, makes you feel better for a longer period afterwards. This is because of the relationship between the gut and the brain.

What you eat directly impacts your brain due to the signals the gut sends to the brain after consumption of food. Billions of bacteria live in the gut with several roles, including this relationship of signalling what the body has consumed.  The American Psychological Association has studied and presented findings on the neurochemicals that the brain uses for regulating mental processes. It is understood that 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin, a mood stabilizer, is produced by the bacteria located in the gut (American Psychological Association, 2012).

Where there is a lack of nutrition, there is a lower amount of good bacteria in the gut, leading to an inability to send positive signals to the brain to stabilise moods and reduce stress and anxiety. However, with a quality supply of nutrition, your brain receives positive messages which are then able to be reflected in your emotions.

Sugar tends to cause a spike in dopamine, which is quickly followed by a significant decrease in mood. Fewer mood fluctuations can be observed when people consume the nutrition their body needs, such as vitamin c, iron, potassium, and more. This is why we believe in the benefits of wellness shots and have been transparent with the ingredients in Goju shots, ensuring that they only contain natural ingredients and are free of additives and preservatives.  

We recognise how hard it can be to do small things for yourself when struggling with mental health, however, we encourage you to make time for self-care. Simply consuming a 60mL wellness shot can boost your health through providing good bacteria in your gut and improving your mood.

 

Reference List:

Carpenter, S. (2012). That Gut Feeling. Monitor on Psychology, 43(8), 50. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling

 

Ministry of Health. (2019). Annual Update of Key Results 2018/19: New Zealand Health Survey. https:// www.health.govt.nz/publication/annual-update-key-results-2018-19-new-zealand-health-survey

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