When it comes to our mental health, we know exactly what you’re thinking: sleeping well, exercising, enjoying our favorite activities, spending time with friends, reading inspirational books, etc., etc., etc. But we tend to ignore one thing that’s more important than anything: what’s on our plate. Yes, our mental health is influenced by a lot of what we eat and drink. It’s a mistake that we, humans, make because studies suggest that there is a thin line between mental health and diet. Our diets may minimize or increase the severity of several health symptoms. Your brain is always working, taking care of your moves, thoughts, breaths, senses, heartbeats, etc.
It basically works 24/7 hours. And don’t think that when you sleep, your brain’s taking a break. It is constantly working so that your body functions properly. It means that your brain needs fuel – where does that fuel come? From what we eat. It’s simple: “You are what you eat.” What’s in your fuel makes the difference and directly affects your brain’s function; therefore, your overall mood. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of minerals and vitamins are essential for maintaining your mental health. Here are some simple facts about how you should properly manage your mental and physical health.
Can foods affect how you feel?
Diet and mental health are related – your brain requires good nutrition so that free radicals won’t damage the cells circulating in the brain’s space, contributing to brain injury. Back in the days, the medical field didn’t know much about the correlation between the brain and food. Nowadays, luckily, nutritional psychology found that there are associations between food and mood. Your diet directly affects how you feel or behave. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps with a variety of functions in your body. It’s often called the “happy medicine” because it improves mood and reduces pain.
Almost 95% of the serotonin in your body is developed in your gastrointestinal tract, linked to your nerve cells and neurons. It all makes sense! If your digestive system doesn’t work properly due to unhealthy food, you won’t feel well. Therefore, your emotions will negatively change, and bacteria will highly influence your body in your intestinal microbiome. The “good” bacteria in our system play an important role against toxins and “bad” bacteria, limiting inflammation. So, change your eating habits so that you can improve your mood and energy levels. Healthy diets must contain vegetables, unprocessed grains, fruits, seafood, fish, and lean meat. Also, avoid unhealthy ingredients and heavily processed foods that can put your health at risk, including:
Highly processed foods
Sugary drinks (Coke, fruit juice, Pepsi)
Keeping healthy and vibrant thinking throughout our lives is essential. You might not know that neglecting how you feel might lead you to depression, which is the most common reason people end up receiving therapy. There are four components to mental health that we must keep steady: emotional, financial, social, and physical health. Taking the necessary steps to manage our stress and improve physical health isn’t easy. If you need support to build your mental health, call your healthcare specialist at help4addiction.co.uk. You’ll learn how to handle your stress and achieve your life goals.
Super foods that can make your brain stronger
If you’re feeling down, it can be very tempting to lift your spirits by eating high-calorie foods but think about the negative consequences you’ll feel after. It’s important to notice that your mood may be influenced by many factors, such as workplace, stress, environment, poor sleep, and nutritional factors. However, you won’t determine any changes if you constantly eat junk food.
Pay attention to different foods and how they make you feel – not just right after you eat them, but the following day as well. Try eating healthy food for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. Beware, as this means that you’ll have to cut all sugar and processed foods out of your diet. You won’t believe how much better you’ll feel, both physically and mentally. You’ll be amazed by remembering how bad you felt back when you used to eat junk food and sweets. Luckily, there are lots of healthy foods that can improve overall brain function, including:
Fatty fish – Salmon and tuna contains essential fats, such as Omega-3 acids that will contribute to the fluidity of your brain cells.
Fermented foods – Yoghurt, kefir, and kimchi are a significant source of probiotics will help regulate your mood.
Dark chocolate – It’s higher in compounds and lower in sugar, which boosts brain health.
Bananas – They’re high in vitamin B6, which stabilizes blood sugar levels, and improves your mood.
Berries – Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants and may help with reducing inflammation, associated with mood disorders.
Oats – Oatmeal, muesli, and granola are an excellent source of fiber, and can help slowyour digestion of carbs, gradually release sugars into the bloodstream, and keep your energy levels steady.
Nuts – walnuts, seeds, almonds, pine nuts, and other nuts are healthy fats, plant-based proteins, and rich in fiber. Each one of them promotes ahealthy brain, lowering your risk of depression to 23%.
Beans – They’re an excellent source of vitamin B, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, which helps elevateyour spirits.
Coffee – The world’s most popular drink can significantly improve someone’s mood due to the naturally occurring compounds.
The bottom lines
If you feel like giving up, try to remember why you’ve started. Craving for calories, high sugar foods, creams, and junk food is a battle that we all fight. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true: while it’s easier to fall for cravings, try to lift your spirits and think about the negative consequences. Aim for food that has been scientifically proven to boost your mood and overall health. Try some of the foods above and start your routine today.