The fact that some foods may make worry and anxiety worse emphasizes the connection between food and mental health as people make healthier choices.
A therapist at Tufts Medical Centre in Boston named Doctor Michelle DiBlasi says that some foods are addicting because they cause the brain to release dopamine in a way that is similar to using drugs.
Emotional and stress eating are often linked to mental health, especially for people who are dealing with worry. DiBlasi says that when people are stressed, turning to food, especially foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt, like burgers, soda, and processed sweets, can become a real addiction.
People can have strong urges for these substances, which makes it hard for them to stop using them once they start.
DiBlasi says that the first thing you should do is to stop and listen to your body when the stress reaction starts to happen. She tells people to eat based on their bodies instead of their feelings and stresses how important it is to tell the difference between real hunger and other feelings like worry or boredom.
To shift the attention from emotional triggers to physiological needs, she reminds people that food gives the body and mind fuel for clear thinking and strength.
Finding trigger foods is helpful, but DiBlasi says not to completely cut them out. Instead, people should think about how they feel about these things.
For example, outright bans are not a good idea if worry makes you want French fries because they can lead to stronger cravings and overeating.
Sitting down, eating slowly, and savouring the food are some other ways to eat mindfully. DiBlasi says that people should not use screens during meals so that they can be more aware of what they are eating.
The main point is clear: people can make better decisions for their health by knowing the complex relationship between food and mental health.