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Food & Your Mental Health

Compass Blog #010_By Maeve J

healthy cookies stacked on each other

We all know that what we eat impacts our physical health, but what about our mental health? How much does our diet impact our brains and our moods? The answer is- A LOT! The fact is, the food we eat every day has a huge impact on our mental health and it's important to know how! This article will focus on one big aspect of that- the gut-brain axis, and what to do about it.

Gut-Brain Axis and Mental Health

The gut-brain axis, according to Healthline, is, "the communication network that connects your gut and brain". In your gut is a complex system of hundreds of billions of neurons that send signals directly to the brain, helping your brain understand what is going on in your body. Also in your gut is where most of your serotonin, the chemical that comprises happiness, is made! Lastly, your brain gets signals from your gut regarding anxiety, memory, and sleep. Needless to say, your mental health is strongly tied to what you eat! So, what can you do about it? Here are a few things to embrace and a few things to reject when it comes to eating habits.

What to Embrace

  1. Talking with a doctor! The most important thing to do is to not make any changes outside of the advice of your doctor! Every person has different dietary needs, so make a primary care appointment at Compass Community Health today to speak with a doctor about your health status and needs.

  2. The basics! This means drinking a lot of water, eating fruits and vegetables everyday, and limiting junk food. This provides a sturdy foundation on which to build other healthy habits!

  3. Probiotics! Your gut is essentially its own ecosystem with plenty of good, or bad, bacteria. Consuming probiotics is a great way to keep that ecosystem full of good bacteria instead of bad! You can take probiotics as a supplement, or eat foods that are high in probiotics such as yogurt, ripe bananas, or fermented foods like kombucha and sauerkraut.

What to Reject

  1. Crash dieting. We have all at some time felt super motivated to change our habits in a drastic way only to get in over our heads and give up soon after. What you want instead is to create a sustainable lifestyle full of habits that you can realistically be consistent with!

  2. Processed food. This is not to say that you have to give up your favorite convenience and snack foods. Moderation is key here, but the more natural food you eat in proportion to processed food, the better it is for your health! A good place to start for anybody is steering away from foods that contain hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the packaging.

  3. Not caring. Your physical health and mental health are so important, and what you eat is a critical component of both of those things! Watch out for your future self, and be willing to do what you need to care for your body and mind!

For more ways to better your mental health, check out our blog with 5 tips to improve your mental health!


Your mental health is important. Compass Community Health is here to help.

Reach out today!


-Message us on Facebook @ Compass Community Health

-Call: 740-355-7102

-Address: 1634 11th St, Portsmouth, OH 45662


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