“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” a famous quote from Hippocrates seems to be the basic principle on which Nutritional Psychiatry is founded, a discipline that investigates the role of food and nutrition on mental health , put at risk by months of distancing and forced isolation like the one we have experienced in the last year. “The positive news is that, according to the dictates of nutritional psychiatry, thanks to the deep connection between food and psyche, our mind can be cured also at the table, as several Nestlé studies have already suggested, showing for example how the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of depression and how in particular some foods, the so-called mood foods, have positive properties on good mood and psycho-physical well-being “, reads a note. According to the new Nestlé study – which surveyed the psychological health of Italians in the last period, even before Covid – 70% of the interviewees declare that they have changed their attitude towards others, towards family or towards work in the last two years. And it is especially young people and adults up to the age of 44 who have made changes, sometimes important, in their lives. Giuseppe Fatati, President of the Nestlé Observatory, who has been studying the eating habits of Italians to propose the good of a balanced nutrition, comments: “Many scientists have emphasized the existence of solid associations between the quality of diet and mental health, reporting evidence that indicates a protective effect of healthy nutritional styles on mood. In practice, a correct diet can improve the mood ”. Fatati continues: “There is an inverse relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and depression or anxiety, that is, the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the lower the probability of suffering a mental illness in the following years[“. Because it is often a key event which gives way to a gradual change in habits, the studio has paid particular attention to even slight transformations of the personality, the first useful signs to run for cover and restore correct habits of life and nutrition. For 22% of Italians, the change meant isolating themselves and avoiding contacts with the outside as much as possible, 34%, made up mostly of 35-44 year-olds, focused more on the family, closing in part to the rest, 8% channeled their sociability more towards colleagues, 19% (especially among 18-34 year olds) relied on the protective circle of a small number of friends, while 19% reacted by going out more often and above all looking for more company possible people. The Nestlé study also highlights how there are substantially positive changes that give new light to our behaviors and negative changes that cause us to close in on ourselves, in relation to key events in our path. For 24%, among the events held responsible for a changed attitude there are unpleasant events such as a separation, a bereavement, a transfer, bullying, while for 23% the change is positive and dictated by events such as a birth, a marriage, a promotion at work and new friendships. The study also notes that it is above all people aged between 18-44 years who are most vulnerable to the various events that life presents to us. A fragility that can be countered from childhood even through adequate nutrition.
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