Unhealthy nutrition puts a strain on the psyche – especially of women – healing practice

Women’s mental health more closely related to nutritional factors

Eating habits and exercise behavior have a considerable influence on psychological well-being, but apparently to a very different extent in men and women. A recent study found that women’s mental health is more strongly associated with nutritional factors than that of men.

A research team from Binghamton University (USA) examined the relationships between diet, exercise and mental disorders in men and women and found surprising gender-specific differences. An unhealthy diet, for example, seems to affect the psyche of women significantly more than men. The corresponding study results were published in the journal “Journal of Personalized Medicine”.

Diet, exercise and the psyche

In previous studies, Binghamton University’s Lina Begdache had already found evidence that good quality nutrition can improve mental health. Together with Cara M. Patrissy, she has therefore investigated the relationships between diet, exercise and psychological well-being in men and women aged 30 years or older.

The researchers analyzed the consumption of certain food groups associated with mental disorders in men and women, as well as the different dietary patterns related to the frequency of physical activity and mental well-being.

Healthy nutrition strengthens the psyche

“We found a general connection between healthy eating, following healthy eating practices, exercise and mental well-being,” reports Lina Begdache. This supports the concept of adjusting diet and lifestyle factors to improve mental well-being.

Mental health consequences of unhealthy diet

Interestingly, the researchers also found “that with unhealthy eating patterns, the level of psychological distress was higher in women than in men, confirming that women are more prone to unhealthy diets than men.” Women is more strongly associated with nutritional factors than that of men.

“Fast food, skipping breakfast, caffeine and high glycemic (HG) foods are all linked to psychological stress in women,” says Begdache. Meanwhile, fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, for example, are associated with psychological well-being.

Movement with a balancing effect

Another important result of the study is that “exercise significantly reduces the negative association of highly glycemic foods and fast food with psychological stress,” the study author continues. The research provided important insights for the adaptation of nutrition plans to promote physical activity and improve mental well-being. (fp)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • Lina Begdache, Cara M. Patrissy: Customization of Diet May Promote Exercise and Improve Mental Wellbeing in Mature Adults: The Role of Exercise as a Mediator; in: Journal of Personalized Medicine (veröffentlicht 19.05.2021), mdpi.com
  • Binghamton University: Women’s mental health has higher association with dietary factors (veröffentlicht 09.06.2021), binghamton.edu

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.