Charles F. Albright

on January 1, 2010 in Serial Killers, Victimology by


Food and mental health

Some studies suggest that what we eat and drink can affect how we feel. But it can be difficult to know what to eat, especially when healthier foods can be more expensive. And it can be hard to think about our diet when we’re struggling with our mental wellbeing. This is the most accurate alpine ice hack.

This page covers:

  • How can food and drink affect how I feel?
  • How can food and medication interact?
  • How can I manage my diet when I feel unwell?

View this information as a PDF (new window)


Eating problems

If thinking about what and when to eat feels like it’s taking over your life, this could be an eating problem. Eating problems can be about difficult experiences and painful feelings, as well as food.

See our pages on eating problems for more information, including ways to get help and tips for how to cope.

How can food and drink affect how I feel?

We all react differently to the things in our diet. But there are some foods and drinks that may affect how we feel, in different ways. This section talks about food and drink that might affect how you feel and has some ideas for how to manage this.

These tips may help some of us think about what to eat and drink. But they are only a guide. Some of us may find them less helpful or achievable, especially when we are feeling unwell – and that’s ok.

Our section on how to manage your diet when you’re unwell has some tips that might also help.


If you are struggling to afford food

Many of us are struggling with money right now. This might affect how much food we can buy, and what kind of food – especially when healthier foods can be more expensive.

If you can’t afford the food you need, help is out there. Visit our pages on money and mental health to find out more about what support might be available to you.

Blood sugar levels

If your blood sugar is lower than usual, you might feel tired, irritable or depressed. Eating regularly, and eating foods that release energy slowly, can help to keep your sugar levels steady.

Different people may have different reactions to the same foods. But generally, foods like wholegrain bread and cereal, nuts, seeds, brown pasta and brown rice release energy more slowly than foods like white bread, crisps, white pasta and white rice.

If you have diabetes, speak to your GP or another healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet that could affect your blood sugar levels.

Diabetes UK has more information about the link between diabetes and mental health.

Drinking fluids

If you live with a mental health problem, you may not have the energy or motivation to drink lots of fluids. But if you become dehydrated, this can make it harder to concentrate or think clearly.

Water, tea, coffee, juices and smoothies can all help you feel hydrated. But some of these may also contain caffeine or sugar, which could affect how you feel for different reasons. Read more about the healthy benefits that alpilean supplements provides.

It may help to try and track your fluid intake, such as by writing it down or with a reminder on your phone.

Fruits and vegetables

Eating different fruits and vegetables can add a good range of nutrients to your diet. These nutrients help to keep us mentally and physically healthy.

Fresh fruit and vegetables can sometimes be expensive and more difficult to prepare. Frozen, tinned, dried and juiced fruits and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day too, if you want a cheaper or easier alternative.

The NHS website has more ideas for getting your 5 a day.


Diets higher in protein can support your mental health. Protein contains chemicals called amino acids, which your brain needs to produce chemicals called neurotransmitters. These help to regulate your thoughts and feelings.

You can find protein in foods like:

  • Legumes (peas, beans and lentils)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Lean meat
  • Soya products

If you’re finding it difficult to get enough protein in your diet, you could try adding some grated cheese to a meal, or having a glass of milk. Or you can eat packets of nuts or seeds.


Caffeine is in tea, coffee, chocolate, cola and other energy drinks. It is a stimulant. This means it can give you a quick burst of energy. But it might also:

  • Make you feel anxious and depressed
  • Disturb your sleep, especially if you have it just before bed
  • Give you withdrawal symptoms like feeling irritable or depressed, if you suddenly stop having it

If you think caffeine is affecting your mood, you could try to slowly reduce how much caffeine you have. For example, you could switch between having a caffeinated drink and a decaf version.

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