Diet has a bigger impact on a woman’s mental health compared to a man
Women are often advised to eat well. There’s a reason for it. As compared to men, diet has a bigger impact on your emotional well-being, finds a study. The Binghamton University research suggests that women need a more nutrient-rich diet to support a positive emotional well-being.
A team of researchers, led by Lina Begdache, conducted an anonymous survey of 563 participants (48% men and 52% women) through social media to investigate this issue. Begdache and her team found that men are more likely to experience mental well-being until nutritional deficiencies arise. Women, however, are less likely to experience mental well-being until a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are followed.
“The biggest takeaway is that women may need a larger spectrum of nutrients to support mood, compared to men,” said Begdache. “These findings may explain the reason why women are twice more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression and suffer from longer episodes, compared to men. Today’s diet is high in energy but poor in key nutrients that support brain anatomy and functionality.”
Evidence suggests that our ancestors’ diet, which was a high-energy-nutrient-dense diet, contributed significantly to brain volumes and cognitive evolution of mankind, said Begdache. “Males and females had different physical and emotional responsibilities that may have necessitated different energy requirements and food preference,” she said.
“Thus, gender-based differential food and energy intake may explain the differential brain volumes and connectivity between females and males. Therefore, a potential mismatch is happening between our contemporary diet and the evolved human brain which is disturbing the normal functionality of certain systems in the brain,” Begdache concluded. The paper was published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
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