Imagine being in a good mood all the time, getting a more restful sleep, holding your attention longer, and retaining your focus. Isn’t that the dream? We would feel great, get more done, and live happier productive lives. You can make your dreams come true and turn this into reality. Believe it or not, all you have to do is change your diet. Our diet has an affect on our mental health and wellbeing. It can either pick us up or bring us down. Here’s some simple changes and suggestions to live a healthier life at an optimum level.
Food is fuel. When we deprive ourselves of food, our body functioning is affected. Nutrients keep the body working properly, which make us feel at our best. When our body is distressed, it results in low dopamine levels which is associated with our emotions - anxiety, mental confusion, slowness, brain fog, irritability. So the key to feeling our best is helping our body perform at it’s best, which means fuel it properly.
Different studies show that particular nutrients are associated with brain health. Many people have deficiencies in these nutrients and don’t even know it. This has been linked to depression.
These specific micronutrients come from foods such as:
Omega-3s: salmon, flax, chia seeds, walnuts
Folate: asparagus, chickpeas, lentils
Vitamin B12: tuna, shrimp, milk
Choline: egg yolks, broccoli, brussel sprouts
Magnesium: spinach, yogurt, black beans
Vitamin D: fatty fish, eggs
Have anxiety? Feel negative often? Foresee a gloomy future? Maybe you should eat more carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and kale. A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that people with higher levels of the antioxidant carotenoids tend to be more optimistic.
We’re all aware that fast food isn’t the healthiest of options. However, it’s not only about the food itself. The packaging and wrappers it comes in has an endocrine-disrupting chemical toxin called phthalates. That toxin doesn’t just stay within the packaging, we also end up ingesting it. This chemical blocks mood boosting nutrients. A study has found that exposure to BPA and phthalates reduces vitamin D levels, which are connected to mental decline in adults and migraines in young people.
Foods that make us more anxious are also the foods that make us gain more weight. Sugar and processed foods have been proven to affect our brain chemistry and hormones. Fresh produce, protein, and healthy fats all help us battle stress within the body, including helping us mentally cope with stress as well.
Here’s how to catch more zzzz’s. Eat cherries! Cherries are a natural sleep aid because they’re packed with melatonin content. Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that makes us sleepy and ready for bed. It’s also a good sweet dessert alternative at night that won’t get us feeling crazy before bed like processed sugar.