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Have you ever noticed after you eat a big bowl of pasta, you get tired? Or if you eat a box of Celebrations for lunch you get a sugar high straight after then feel down, irritable and lethargic within a couple of hours? Our food has a direct impact on our mental health and the way we feel, full stop. It is important for us to eat regularly and healthily to ensure our blood sugar is kept stable and we get all the principal nutrients we need.

Now, we all have appalling diets sometimes, where the closest we get to fruit or vegetable is a pack of strawberry laces. However, notice that when you eat better, you feel better. We’re not saying that eating a more healthy and balanced diet means that depression and anxiety goes away completely, but from personal experience, you are less susceptible to mood swings and that you generally feel better.

Breakfast. That word strikes fear into the hearts of many. As someone who considers a can of redbull a healthy start to the day, breakfast is certainly a challenge. As a rule of thumb, when trying to eat breakfast more regularly, try think about what you eat for suhoor during Ramadan. You (should) often eat a healthy suhoor consisting of fruit, toast or cereal, and plenty of water to set you up for a long day of fasting. This works perfectly when you are not fasting too. It makes you less hungry during the day, your stomach is less likely to grumble so hard during morning lectures where professors think it’s the perfect time to play 21 questions, and by the time lunch arrives you don’t feel the need for a nap, and finally you don’t tend to overeat.

During Ramadan many of us, become so hydrated, like camels but throughout the rest of the year we forget to drink water.This often makes it harder to concentrate and dehydration can also increase tiredness, make you less productive and feel a bit snappy. Many of us also use tea, coffee, and other stimulants to help hydrate us during the day, but the caffeine in many of these drinks means that this can often disturb our sleep, making us more irritable the next day. Not to mention all those harsh chemicals having a field day in our bodies!

With our diet in general, it’s good to remember the Islamic way, the middle way, of eating everything in moderation. Often, dieting or cutting out certain food groups (unless intolerant or allergic) can lead to cravings and overeating, so it is important to still include a little of what you fancy in your diet.

To sum up, good food improves your mood.
It rhymes, so you should be able to remember it.

Jamilla Hekmoun

Jamilla is a final year undergraduate studying Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and Vice President of the Islamic Society at the University of Exeter. After being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, she is keen on improving the understanding of mental health conditions within Muslim communities. Follow her on Twitter @JamillaTweets.

One Comment

  • amer kahn says:

    Look into the “Vibration of foods”.
    A truly fascinating and uncommon concept.


    Coach Kahn


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