Dietary factors have a much bigger impact on women’s mood and mental health than men’s, but exercise can get rid of mental distress caused by specific foods in women.
Gender and brain maturity are two key factors that influence mental health.
A study wanted to see if gender and brain maturity, when combined with diet, can influence mental health.
They tested if changing diet based on individual requirements would improve a person’s mood aged 30 years or older.
Researchers wanted to know what type of exercise and diet make people feel better and can enhance their mental wellbeing.
The study showed that customizing diet and exercise improves women’s mental health more than men’s.
Dr Lina Begdache, the study’s first author, said:
“We found a general relationship between eating healthy, following healthy dietary practices, exercise and mental well-being.
Interestingly, we found that for unhealthy dietary patterns, the level of mental distress was higher in women than in men, which confirmed that women are more susceptible to unhealthy eating than men.”
These findings suggest that a healthy diet combined with physical activity may be the first choice for women to overcome mental problems such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, and stress.
Dr Begdache said:
“Fast food, skipping breakfast, caffeine and high-glycemic (HG) food are all associated with mental distress in mature women.
Fruits and dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV) are associated with mental well-being.
The extra information we learned from this study is that exercise significantly reduced the negative association of HG food and fast food with mental distress.”
Personalised nutrition plans and exercise, together with good sleep quality have been shown to improve mental health in all adults.
The study was published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine (Begdache & Patrissy, 2021).