German researchers recently published an article in European Journal of Public Health exploring the connection between health behaviours and mental health. Unsurprisingly, those with more healthy behaviours appeared to have better mental health.
The researchers analyzed cross-sectional data of over 39,000 women and men, looking for those who reported having depression and mental distress. They then checked those individuals to see how many were implementing these 5 healthy behaviours in their lives:
- Low-risk alcohol drinking
- Regular sport
- Maintaining normal weight
- Healthy fruit and vegetable consumption
What they found was that those with at least 4 of those healthy behaviours were less likely to report mental distress or depression compared to those with less than 2 healthy behaviours.
This confirms other research we have reported here in the past regarding using diet to manage mental health, and why we focus on micronutrients to cope with mental health challenges.
This research also goes beyond just nutrition: having a healthy lifestyle in general is important in maintaing ones’s mental health. So if you’re watching what you eat, so you can be mentally healthy, don’t forget to limit smoking and alcohol consumption, include physical activity, and watch your weight.
Be healthy physically, so you can be healthy mentally.