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What you eat can have a big impact on your mental health, and it varies according to your age and gender, according to Lina Begdache, assistant professor of health and wellness studies at Binghamton University. She is the author of several studies examining the link between diet and mental health. 

For example, young adults and mature adults actually require different food to improve their mental health.

"Mood in young adults (18-29) seems to be dependent on food that increases availability of neurotransmitter precursors and concentrations in the brain (meat)," said Begdache. "However, mood in mature adults (over 30 years) may be more reliant on food that increases availability of antioxidants (fruits) and abstinence of food that inappropriately activates the sympathetic nervous system (coffee, high glycemic index and skipping breakfast)."

Along with age, said Begdache, food also affects mood in women and men differently. Men are more likely to experience mental well-being until nutritional deficiencies arise, while women are less likely to experience mental well-being until they achieve a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

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