We all know that eating well optimizes our physical health and supports our brain function. However, most people don’t realize the influence food can have on our mood. This impact is particularly important for individuals with disabilities to be aware of because we are at higher risk of experiencing conditions such as depression and anxiety. These can negatively impact our ability to function in all areas of our lives, including school, work and relationships. Studies show that symptoms of depression may be two to 10 times more common in people living with disabilities or chronic illness. Furthermore, individuals with major depressive disorder are more likely to report co-existing anxiety disorders.
So, what’s food got to do with it? A lot. Research demonstrates that poor diet is linked to poor mental health. For example, eating fried foods or foods that contain too much refined sugar and processed grains is linked to depression. Unfortunately, the diets of people living with chronic disabilit