Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Food can change your mood and your outlook.
Diet Quality and Mental Health for Adolescents
A 2014 study of more than 4,000 students in New Zealand found that a high-quality diet was associated with better mental health and a low-quality diet was associated with poor mental health. The findings were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“The link between diet and mental health probably goes both ways," Pagoto says. "If you have mental health issues, it may make it harder for you to eat well. A poor diet may also contribute to poor mental health."
Stress causes your body to seek sugar as quick fuel for a surge of energy, according to the American Psychological Association.
"That may be why many people eat sweets when they are under stress," Sherry L. Pagoto, PhD says. "We teach people to use healthy behaviors to reduce stress instead of food. One of the best ways to reduce stress is with exercise. You can start to think of exercise as not just a chore but a way to feel better."