To continue on in honour of mental health, we will explore some evidence-based lifestyle tips to further support positive mental health. Over the years, there has been an increase of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and In order to combat this, we need to introduce more tools and education to help prevent and recover from poor mental health.
As a Sydney plant-based nutritionist I want to help individuals find balance within their mental health through healthy eating, lifestyle strategies and other health-based tools.
Smoking is proven to be so detrimental to our health, and unfortunately, is strongly associated with depression, in fact, studies show risk is increased by 1.5‐2 times the risk of non‐smoking from a variety of designs. Children exposed to second‐hand smoking early in life have an increased risk of depression.
The gut Microbiome was discussed in greater depth in our last blog (Which you can check out here)
The role of the gut microbiome in mental health is currently receiving considerable research interest . Since the microbiome appears to be influenced by exercise  and diet , Altering our daily exercise and diet behaviours could present another pathway through which modifiable health behaviours could impact mental health.
However, we must always consider that the basis behind mental disorders is of course multifactorial, and cases will often occur (and persist) independently of lifestyle factors. So we cannot attribute the causes solely to the behaviours of individuals.
As a Sydney plant-based nutritionist, I understand there are many defining factors to mental health. However, I am dedicated to helping you develop a healthy lifestyle that can help you manage the internal factors that may be affecting your mental health.
Exercise, some love it, some hate it, some just simply do not have time for it whether it be kids or work. There is now some evidence in exercise, muscular strength and resistance training in the prevention of mental illness.
But some of you must be questioning, what is the appropriate amount of time to exercise? We understand, there is so much conflicting advice. Well, In order to preserve both overall mental health and cognitive functioning, both Canada's  and Australia's  24‐Hour Movement Guidelines have adopted a “whole day time‐use” paradigm for young people, recommending that each day should include at least 60 min of moderate‐to‐vigorous exercise, several hours of light physical activity, no more than two hours of sedentary leisure activities, and 8‐11 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Here at Planting Nutrition, not only am I a Bondi based vegan nutritionist, but I am also a certified personal trainer, so I appreciate and understand the importance of finding a well-balanced combination of exercise and a healthy diet to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
In our last blog, we delved deeper into the effects of foods on our mental health. It’s proven that regular consumption of sugar‐sweetened beverages and highly refined polyunsaturated vegetable fats are associated with a significantly increased risk of depression/depressive symptoms.
As a Bondi nutritionist, it’s suggested introducing more Mediterranean diets or low inflammatory based diets, which are associated with reduced depression risk in prospective studies. A significantly reduced risk of depressive symptoms is observed among those with a high Mediterranean diet score which is predominantly composed of fruit, vegetables, legumes, wholegrain and fish, with small amounts of meat and dairy.
Foods rich in the polyunsaturated fats omega 3, help reduce inflammation, in a plant-based diet, these include ground flax seeds or chia seeds - aim for 1-2 tbs of these daily or hemp seeds - aim for 2-3 tbs daily or walnuts. A combination of all is great.
A meta-review of “lifestyle psychiatry”: the role of exercise, smoking, diet and sleep in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders.
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