Britons urged not to ignore mental wellbeing
Anna Seward - Mar 2013
Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health, according to an expert at Cambridge University.
Consumers are used to being reminded of the importance of exercising and eating a healthy, balanced diet, but an expert has underlined the need to focus on mental wellbeing as well.
Professor Barbara Sahakian, an expert at the University of Cambridge, is concerned that many people fail to prioritise their mental health.
She said: "As a society, we take our mental health for granted. But just like our bodies, it is important to keep our brains fit.
"Just as joggers check their pulse rate, we should encourage individuals to regularly keep an eye on the state of their mental health."
As many as one in every four adults in the UK experiences a mental disorder in any given year, and the problem is exacerbated by the fact that many people wait before seeking health for symptoms of conditions such as depression and anxiety.
This often makes the problem far more difficult to treat, according to Professor Sahakian.
"We need to educate the public about what to look for and make them aware of the importance of early detection and intervention," she said.
Exercise is beneficial for people's mood and cognitive function, so regular physical activity - ideally 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on at least five days per week - is recommended.
A healthy diet is also important, with research showing that what we eat affects our blood sugar levels, which in turn can influence our mood and energy levels.
Low levels of certain vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids are also known to affect mental health, with a lack of certain B-vitamins linked to symptoms of schizophrenia, for example.
For this reason, it is important to obtain a wide range of vitamins and minerals in your diet, with food supplements providing a convenient way to top up their levels.
One such supplement isThe Really Healthy Company's Klamath Blue Green Algae, which has long been known to benefit brain health.
Rich in B vitamins - in fact it is one of the only vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 - this highly concentrated and nutrient-dense greenfood also contains amino acids that are capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Furthermore, Klamath Blue Green Algae contains a protein called substance P, which stimulates the brain cells and helps to elevate people's sense of mental wellbeing.