It’s no secret that what you eat can have a major effect on your mental health. We here at Truehope have been discussing this extensively recently, whether it be foods you can eat to help battle seasonal depression or the fact that the standard American diet of highly processed foods has significant links to memory loss.
There’s also the growing number of research studies that are specifically exploring the increased rate of depression and its link with a poor diet. It’s quite clear that what you put into your body has a much larger effect on our mental health than many people realize.
Additionally, “what you put into your body” is often thought of exclusively as what you eat by many people, and not taking into account what you drink. But, you guessed it: what you drink has an effect on your mental health as well.
Although many researchers have focused mainly on food and its effect on our mental health, there have also been some research studies done that look into how drinks affect our brain as well.
- Coffee – A comprehensive review by Dr. Alan Leviton from Harvard University found that people who drink coffee “are significantly less likely to be depressed than people who do not” likely due to coffee’s anti-inflammatory properties. This study concluded that depression risk can decrease by up to one third for those who drink coffee.
- Tea – Similarly to coffee, research has found that “frequent tea consumption has a strong linear relationship with reduced rates of depression” with one study estimating that the risk of depression went down by 37% among frequent tea drinkers.
- Soda – On the flip side of the coin, soda drinkers are more likely to be depressed. A study out of Australia found that those who drank at least half a liter of soda per day had a 60% increased risk of depression in addition to all of that sugar they are consuming. Diet soda also causes an increased risk of depression, though, with estimates around a 30% increased risk for those who drink four or more cans per day.
Our bodies are our temples, and it’s time for all of us to take control of what goes into our temple. Start taking steps toward better overall health and mental health today by fully examining what you’re putting into your body (both food and drink) and eliminating the choices that are working against you being your best self.