Tips for eating well with bipolar disorder.
When fighting bipolar disorder, eating healthy is key. Just like with any other condition, the right diet can help keep bipolar in check. However, it’s not just about avoiding unhealthy foods; there are plenty of healthy foods that can help improve your mood and mental health.
In this post, I’ll share some personal stories about how I improved my eating habits and the positive results. You’ll also learn a few helpful tips on how you can do the same.
The Importance of Eating Healthy
Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by extreme changes in mood. These changes can be drastic, lasting a few hours to days and weeks.
For example, you could feel like Superman in the morning, ready to fly off to Metropolis and beat all the bad guys, but then, by evening, be a puddle of tears wrapped in your comfy blanket. Not every day reaches such extremes, but the highs and lows are part of the disorder.
Bipolar disorder can be very debilitating, making it difficult to function in day-to-day life. Many people with bipolar can’t work, and I myself have taken a few breaks that lasted a few months.
While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms. One of these treatments is a healthy diet.
A healthy diet can help improve your mood and mental health in several ways. For one, eating healthy foods helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels are stable, you’re less likely to experience drastic mood swings.
Eating well with bipolar disorder also provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. This is vital because a chemical imbalance in the brain can cause bipolar symptoms. By eating nutrient-rich foods, you can help to keep your brain chemistry in balance.Start Today!
How Diet Affects Bipolar Disorder
There are a number of studies that have shown how diet can affect bipolar disorder. One study found that people with bipolar disorder who ate a healthy diet were less likely to experience symptoms than those who didn’t. The study also found that people who ate a healthy diet were more likely to stick to their treatment plan.
Another study found that people with bipolar disorder who ate a healthy diet had less inflammation in their bodies. This is important because there appears to be a link between inflammation and mood disorders like bipolar.
The takeaway from all of this research is clear: eating a healthy diet is crucial for people with bipolar disorder. By eating the right foods, you can help to manage your symptoms and live a healthier, happier life.
How to Eat Healthy
Eating well with bipolar disorder doesn’t have to be difficult or boring. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods that can help improve your mood and mental health. Here are some tips on how you can eat healthily:
- Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. These foods are packed with nutrients that are essential for good mental health. I love fruit, so fresh cherries, strawberries, and grapes are always on hand.
- Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats. These foods can trigger bipolar episodes or make them worse. I love junk food, so this one is a challenge for me. Every. Day.
- Eat regular meals and snacks. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar levels to drop, which can trigger symptoms. Try to space your meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important for good mental health. We’ll discuss water in more detail below.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both substances can aggravate bipolar symptoms, alter brain chemistry, and interfere with medications.
I use the Bearable tracking app on my phone to monitor my mental health. Looking at my trends, there’s a clear connection between the days I eat well and stay hydrated and how I feel. The better my diet, the better my symptoms are, and I also notice I have less physical pain from my Familial Mediterranean Fever.
How to Add More Water to Your Day
You don’t need me to tell you how important water is to your mental health, but did you know that it’s especially important for people with bipolar disorder? That’s because bipolar symptoms can be worse when you’re dehydrated.
Research shows how dehydration increases the risk of experiencing anxiety and depression. Drinking plenty of water is a simple and effective way to stay hydrated and keep your bipolar disorder under control.
Here are some tips on how you can add more water to your day:
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
- Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and drink regularly.
- Add fruits or vegetables to your water for extra flavor.
- Drink herbal tea or decaffeinated black coffee instead of sugary drinks.
- Cut down on alcohol consumption.
By following these tips, you can make sure you’re getting the water your body needs to stay healthy. The better hydrated you are, the better chance you have of experiencing fewer symptoms.
A healthy diet is an important part of managing bipolar disorder, but it’s not the only thing you need to do. Be sure to also:
- Get regular exercise. Walking and swimming are great options.
- Get enough sleep. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.
- Stick to your treatment plan.
While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms and live a happy, healthy life. One of the most important things you can do is to eat a healthy diet.
By eating the right foods, you can better control your symptoms. My friend Michelle is medication free and treats her bipolar with diet, exercise, and natural supplements. I’m not there yet, but it’s the goal I’m working towards.
The next time you’re feeling down, remember healthy food and water are your friends. Stick to healthy habits and watch your life improve.
What tips for eating well with bipolar disorder would you give someone recently diagnosed with bipolar? Please share your thoughts as a comment below.
If you loved this post, be sure to sign up for our free Sunday newsletter about all things bipolar.
Until next time, keep fighting.