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Trends Food Sci Technol ; 120: 25-35, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586424


BACKGROUND: The distressing COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on public mental health, and the importance of food and nutrients in several aspects of mental health has been recognized. People in isolation or quarantine suffer from severe stress, anger, panic attack, and anxiety. SCOPE AND APPROACH: Although, people who have improved and progressed through medications or vaccines have reduced anxiety levels to some extent yet the efficacy of these measures, in the long run, remains a question. The review depicts that such negative emotional reactions were particularly higher in elderly individuals in the first wave than in other phases. The emotional and behavioral response to the COVID-19 pandemic is multifactorial. From different research studies, it has been found that stress scores were considerably higher for those engaging in unhealthy eating practices. This factor relies not only on external components but on personal and innate ones as well. In the present pandemic, the sustainable development of the food system would have been a major issue; this should be carefully restored to avoid a food crisis in the future. KEY FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS: Changes in mind-body interactions are triggered by psychosocial stresses such as interpersonal loss and social rejection. Physiological response (in terms of psychological stress) in COVID-19 affected patients varies due to individual physical health status. This review explores the relationship between nutrition and mental health as what we eat and think is interlinked with the gut-brain-axis. The role of dietary components along with the Mediterranean diet, DASH diet and use of psychobiotics in improving psychological distress in pandemic induced stress, anxiety and depression has also been discussed.