Support your mental and physical health with nutrition
Take a moment to think about the foods that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. What are the foods that boost your spirits?
Did some of them include sugary goodness or carbs? Most likely. And that’s okay - me too! These serve a purpose and can definitely be enjoyed in balance and moderation (like everything). We also now have so much more research being done around the food we eat and how it makes us feel. Many foods can actually influence our mood. While other factors will also absolutely play a role, we’ll focus on the nutrition aspect here. I won’t get into all of the foods that can support your brain and help make you feel good but I will speak to my Top 3.
Healthy fats are a great way to support your brain health, development, and communication and they may even help alleviate depression and anxiety. Things like fatty fish, avocado, and nuts and seeds are an awesome source.
Fermented foods! Love your gut to love your brain. Did you know up to 90% of serotonin (affects things like mood, stress, and sex drive) is produced in your gut?! Consuming fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and yoghurt are a phenomenal way to love up your gut and support the mind/body connection for overall health.
And last, but definitely not least, Dark Chocolate! You heard me. Chocolate over 70% is a deliciously nutritious way to support your brain and mood (but, yes, moderation is still key!). It’s a source of fuel, contains compounds that improves mood, boosts brain health, and it’s a delightful treat. Win-win.
Focusing on whole-foods when you can (ingredients that come from nature) is hands down one of the best ways to support not just your mental and physical health but your overall health and support of the interconnected nature of your bodily systems. A happy and supported body/mind mean more stable and regulated moods, rather than the spike and crash that comes from the surgery or carb-rich foods many typically reach for when in need of a pick-me-up. In saying this though, one of the most important aspects of a healthy ‘diet’ is our relationship to food. If we want food to help make us feel better/happier/whatever and to be the medicine it truly is, then we need to respect it and treat it like a dear friend. Showing gratitude and appreciation for not only the food but the people and processes involved in getting it onto our plate has been shown to help digestion and lessen issues of indigestion. So next time you to take a bite of food, take a moment to honour it for the incredible source of fuel, nutrients, and medicine that it is.