Mental relapse is a significant change in mood, behavior, or thinking. These changes may come from mental conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. While some people experience one mental relapse during their lifetime, others have multiple relapses. A mental relapse can make you feel like you are going through the same symptoms that led to your original diagnosis.
A healthy diet is vital for everyone, but it’s crucial for patients recovering from addiction. Some of the most common foods that addicts crave are high in sugar and fat, which can trigger an addictive cycle. Implementing the wrong diet might slow down your body’s healing process while making you feel weaker. But by eating a balanced diet, you can avoid those cravings while boosting your recovery at the same time.
In this article, you’ll learn how to eat a balanced diet and seven tips to consider when choosing the right food.
1. Get Professional Help
When someone has a mental illness, they must get the correct diet guidance. This need is vital because their body needs certain nutrients to keep their mind clear and focused so they can continue living without relapse. If they don’t get professional guidance, the wrong types of food can cause an imbalance in their bodies, increasing their symptoms.
With the help of mental health professionals, you’ll receive the proper treatment for your condition. If you go here for more info, you’ll learn that these experts can help you find the right program that will help you recover from your unique situation. Aside from that, they might also refer you to dieticians that will help you make better choices when deciding what to eat.
2. Add More Fiber To Your Diet
Fiber is crucial for weight loss because it helps you feel full and keeps you from snacking between meals. This type of carbohydrate aids in digestion by helping food move through your digestive system more quickly, so you don’t have to eat as much to feel satisfied. Fiber also helps lower cholesterol levels in the body, reducing your risk for heart disease and other health issues associated with obesity.
The following tips will help you increase your daily fiber intake while allowing you to avoid relapse:
- Choose Whole Grains Over Refined Ones: Refined grains are stripped of their natural fiber during processing, which makes them easier to digest but strips them of much of their nutritional value. On the other hand, whole grains retain all three components intact, so they’re typically better for your body than refined grains. This food type includes brown rice and whole-wheat bread. You can also try quinoa, a grain that cooks like rice but has a nutty flavor.
- Add Beans To Your Meals: Black beans are high in soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Other types of beans include navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils, all excellent dietary fiber sources.
- Eat Fresh Fruits And Vegetables Daily: Vegetables contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, while fruits contain primarily soluble fiber, which dissolves in water. Fruit also contains fructose sugar that breaks down slowly, which may benefit people suffering from bulimia nervosa. This product can also help you recover from a binge eating disorder (BED), which makes you crave something sweet after meals.
- Eat Protein-Rich Food: Protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, and eggs are good sources of amino acids that can help build muscle mass, which helps maintain bone density during weight loss. They also contain B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, which help keep our nerve cells healthy and promote good brain function.
3. Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, which are symptoms of an impending relapse. So, ensure you drink plenty of water daily to stay hydrated and keep your body functioning correctly.
Here are five ways to remind yourself to drink plenty of water daily:
- Keep A Water Bottle With You At All Times: Stock up on water bottles that are easy to carry around. These bottles should have a wide mouth, so they’re easy to fill with ice cubes and clean out after use. You can add lemon or cucumber slices to the bottle for added flavor. These ingredients won’t alter the taste of your filtered water but will help improve its flavor by hiding any unpleasant tastes present in your tap water supply.
- Drink Water With Every Meal Or Snack: Choose non-caffeinated drinks such as water or seltzer with lemon, lime, or orange slices. Select beverages that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks and juices, especially if you’re exercising vigorously.
- Choose Non-Caffeinated Drinks: If you like coffee or tea, use them as part of your daily fluid intake rather than as a substitute for water. However, these drinks contain caffeine which can cause dehydration in some people, so they may not be appropriate for everyone during their recovery period. Instead, choose non-caffeinated beverages such as fruit juice or herbal teas.
- Select Beverages That Contain Electrolytes: If you’re not active, try replacing some of your daily fluid intake with low-calorie beverages that contain electrolytes. These liquid products may include sports drinks and juices, especially if you exercise vigorously. The electrolytes in these drinks help balance your body’s fluid levels, which allows you to rehydrate faster after a workout or physical activity.
- Keep A Drinking Diary: One way to ensure that you get enough water is by keeping a diary of how much fluid you consume daily. For example, if you drink soda in large quantities, it might be wise to cut back on this beverage and replace it with something healthier, like fruit juice. This strategy will help you realize if you are drinking enough fluids and also give you an idea of what beverages you tend to consume.
4. Limit Sodium Intake
Sodium plays a vital role in nerve function. Nerve cells use sodium as a signaling agent to send messages from one neuron to another. Too much sodium in the bloodstream can disrupt the normal functioning of these nerve cells and cause a mental relapse.
You can reduce your sodium intake by avoiding processed foods. Instead of buying canned goods, you can make your soups from scratch using fresh ingredients. Next, you should also be wary of nutrition facts labels on packaged foods to avoid those with high sodium levels. Also, you should consider cooking dinner at home as much as possible and limiting your trips to restaurants because most of these foods are loaded with salt that can trigger your mental illness.
5. Take Prescribed Vitamins Daily
If you are taking prescription medications for mental health, these can affect the absorption of specific vitamins and minerals. For example, some drugs can decrease folate levels, which helps with brain health. Taking your prescribed vitamins regularly can help prevent any nutritional deficiencies that could lead to further relapse.
So, here’s a list of ingredients that must be present in your prescribed vitamins:
- Vitamin C: This nutrient is a powerful antioxidant and can help reduce inflammation in the body because it boosts your immune system. You should be able to get your daily dose from eating vitamin-rich foods like citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and broccoli. However, if you cannot eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, consider taking an over-the-counter supplement containing 100% vitamin C instead.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These alpha-linolenic acids (ALA) can help you improve your moods by providing an alternative fuel source for your brain cells instead of glucose. You can get omega-3s from eating fish such as salmon or tuna twice a week. Alternatively, if you don’t eat fish, consider taking an over-the-counter supplement containing omega 3s instead to gain the same benefits still.
- Vitamin E: This fat-soluble vitamin reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels and protects against premature aging of cells. Aside from that, vitamin E can also prevent cell membrane damage from free radicals that occur during stress to avoid relapse. Furthermore, this ingredient can minimize the threat of Alzheimer’s disease by slowing down memory loss.
6. Adopt Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can be a helpful tool when used responsibly and in moderation. However, since you have a history of mental illness, you’re more likely to become dependent on alcohol or develop an addiction. Alcohol abuse and addiction can cause severe damage to the brain, which may make it harder for the person to recover from their mental illness.
If you are concerned about your drinking habits, speak to your healthcare provider about how much alcohol is safe for you. For instance, if you’ve been drinking heavily, detoxification may be necessary before you start learning how to use moderation again. In doing so, you can learn how to adopt a moderate consumption of alcohol as you recover from your mental illness.
7. Avoid Crash Diets
Crash diets usually involve a combination of fasting and calorie restriction, which means you eat far less than you usually would. This kind of diet can cause you to feel starving at all times, which can lead to cravings and binge eating. As a result, this practice might cause a mental relapse during recovery because they affect your systems.
If you want a healthy way of losing weight and improving your diet, try intermittent fasting, limiting your calorie intake on certain days of the week. In addition, try eating small portions of each meal so that you feel full quickly, which can also help curb your appetite while avoiding overeating.
Recovering from a mental illness can be a long process, especially if you don’t know the suitable types of food to avoid and consume. Therefore, you must consider following these seven tips to improve your recovery while preventing relapse.