Updated: Mar 31, 2020
You know that eating healthy can help you look your best, but did you know nutritious food can also help you feel your best? That’s right – consuming nutrient dense food has been food has been associated with better mood, higher energy levels, enhanced learning capacity and decreased depression. If you want to take control of your physical and mental healthy this summer, start by taking a look at what you and your family are eating. The following article outlines some of the best foods for your mental health.
The majority of nutritionists agree that leafy greenery should be at the centre of your holistic diet. Spinach, romaine lettuce, rocket, sprouts and broccoli are among some of the most nutrient-dense foods. Packed with folic acid, calcium and fibre, these veggies can make your body feel at its best which, in turn, helps you feel happier and more energetic. Additionally, leafy greens contain a mineral known as selenium, which has been shown to positively combat depression and fatigue. The best part? Fresh leafy greens are abundant during the summer months.
The term “gut health” refers to the overall well-being of your gastrointestinal tract starting at your mouth, and ending with your intestines. Recent evidence suggests that the gut health plays a seminal role in emotional stability. If your gut is feeling sick, you may be more prone to depression, cold/flus, and mood swings. When your gut feels good, you are likely producing higher rates of “feel good” hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. If you want to get your gut healthy, start by incorporating a few more probiotics into your diet. Yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir are packed with gut-friendly probiotics that can help you to feel your best. Additionally, there are a few items you might want to avoid during your journey to gut health including sugar, gluten, red meat and overly fried/processed foods.
High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While you have probably seen the verbiage “High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids” on food labels, you may not know why omega-3’s are good for you. Simply put, omega-3’s are good for your brain. When we consume omega-3’s, we are giving out body’s the nutrients they need to combat anxiety and sadness. Omega 3’s are often included in infant formula because of their capacity to promote healthy development. There is also evidence to suggest that omega-3s promote concentration by reducing hyperactivity.
Whole Grains & Legumes
While it may seem great to only eat veggies and protein, there are time when we crave the carb-heavy foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes. Generally, craving for these carb-laden foods can be tackled with healthy starches such as whole grains and legumes. Whole wheat bread, barley and beans are high in fibre, which helps stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Because your blood sugar is more stable, you will likely feel full for longer, which decreases cravings for bad cards such as sugars and other white starches. When you are eating a fibre-rich diet, you might see changes to both your energy levels and mood.
What we eat plays an important role in our mental health and can make us more (or less) susceptible to stress, depression and anxiety. If you want to set your family on the path of physical and mental health, start by taking a good hard look at what you’re eating. Now is the time to take control of how you feel. By reading the article above, you have already taken the first step toward a healthy summer and life.