Good Nutrition for Mental well-being for mothers

Mental health is of great importance especially when being a mom. It affects what kind of mothers we are, and how we can take care of ourselves and our children. Our mental health doesn’t only affect out well-being but also our entire family. And good, balanced nutrition is an integral part of that.

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Well-being for mothers

How does nutrition affect my well-being?

I always heard and theoretically know that a healthy diet can also have a significant impact on your mental health besides playing a crucial role in your physical health. Certain nutrients and foods can have a positive or negative effect on your mental well-being. By choosing the right foods and nutrients, you can enhance it and reduce the risk of mental disorders. But on an everyday basis also affect your motivation, energy levels and moods.

So I spoke to my friend, Julia, who shared her expertise with me. Keep reading to learn about how nutrition affects your mental well-being.

Protein - Building Blocks for Mood

Protein-rich foods are not only important for your muscle development but also for your
psychological well-being. Proteins provide amino acids needed for the production of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in your brain. These neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, influence your mood and well-being. Sufficient protein intake can help support the production of these neurotransmitters, thus reducing the risk of mood swings and depression.
Good sources of protein include.

  1. poultry & meat
  2. fish & seafood

  3. eggs
  4. dairy products and
  5. nuts and seeds.

To ensure a balanced intake of all essential amino acids you want to include a variety of protein sources in your diet. You can also try creative combinations, such as eggs with salmon or dairy products with nuts and seeds.
A diverse diet is key to obtaining sufficient protein and promoting your mental health

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Julia cooking with her kids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – For a Happy Brain

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your brain development and function.

Studies have shown that adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and breastfeeding can reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids can help you to reduce stress and improve your mood. You can use fatty fish such as

  1. salmon
  2. flaxseed and
  3. avocado in your diet.

B Vitamins – Mood Boosters

B vitamins like folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 are essential for neurotransmitter production in your brain. A lack of these vitamins can lead to mood swings, irritability, and fatigue. It is important to include foods such as

  1. meat
  2. eggs and
  3. nuts
  4. leafy green vegetables
  5. legumes
  6. whole grains

to ensure an adequate supply of B vitamins. A Balanced intake of these vitamins can help you to promote mental stability and reduce the risk of depression.

Colorful Fruits and Vegetables – Power for the Mind

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits provides a variety of nutrients and antioxidants that are important for your mental health. Antioxidants protect cells from damage and can help you to reduce mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. You would do well by eating a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. A rainbow on your plate can also contribute to a positive mood. Some good options are

  1. berries
  2. carrots
  3. broccoli
  4. spinach and
  5. tomatoes.

Probiotics – Ingredients for a Healthy Gut and Mind

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that promote a healthy gut flora. A healthy gut flora is closely linked to your psychological well-being. Studies have shown that a disrupted gut flora can be associated with an increased risk of mental disorders. To support your gut health and potentially improve your mental stability, you want to eat probiotic foods such as

  1. yogurt
  2. sauerkraut and
  3. kefir.

A happy gut flora can contribute to a happy mind.

The Effects of Carbohydrates and Sugar

⚠️ Consuming excessive amounts of carbohydrates(carbs) and sugar can harm your mental state. Since carbs are sugar for the body as well, the blood sugar level spikes rapidly after consuming carbs and sugary foods, only to crash afterward, leading to mood swings and low energy levels.

As opposed to this, a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help your body maintain stable blood sugar levels and encourage your mental well-being. As you can read, nutrition plays an important role in the mental health. By adopting a balanced diet rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics, you can support your mental stability and well-being which will lead to more energy, more stress-resistance, more patience and a good mood. So, gather your family members, head to the grocery store and get cooking in the kitchen all together to have a great time and to create a colorful and nutrient-rich meal!

Your mind, body and family will thank you.

You can find out more about Julia Milarov’s work on her website.

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