Eating for wellness is something many of us could benefit from. Some people are trying to make the most of their time at home lately to get more fit, lose weight, or become more active. One of the big upsides to this is it will help you improve your ability to manage emotional issues at the same time.
Making some small changes can be helpful. So, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed with revamping your entire diet. Consider swapping out the takeaway lunch you used to grab at the office with a healthier option you make at home. If you made no changes to your other two meals, you still would have improved 1/3 of your diet!
Of course, we all know that eating right, exercising and getting plenty of sleep are good for us. But there is more recent research that has documented the link between a healthy diet and decreased chances of depression and anxiety. The study found we should make these changes to maximize the benefits:
|Whole grains||High fat foods|
- It probably goes without saying that things like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and drugs (over the counter, herbs, supplements, prescription and recreational) should all be evaluated as part of a healthy lifestyle as well.
Why eating these are good for your wellness:
The above recommendations are in line with the findings of several research studies. The scientific basis behind these benefits are important to keep in mind. The benefits go beyond physical health factors e.g. developing strong bones and building muscle.
- Topping up essential Vitamins & Minerals:Some of the reasons these foods are especially helpful are that they provide a good source of vitamins and minerals in their natural state. It is important to have enough of the B complex to help with anxiety, for example.
- Obtaining enough Omega-3s: There is also evidence that Omega-3s help with anxiety and depression among other things. This is in part due to their impact on dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
- Stabilizing Blood Sugar Levels:By reducing things like potatoes, white rice, certain breads and sweets you avoid simple carbohydrates which your body processes essentially like sugar. Stable blood sugar levels help to regulate mood and energy levels throughout the day.
- Controlling Blood Pressure: Symptoms of elevated blood pressure can mimic the sensation of heightened anxiety.
- Develops a healthy gut:Diverse gut bacteria are required for the production of Serotonin. Diets like the Mediterranean diet that emphasis the ingredients above create the right environment to produce Serotonin. Serotonin levels are key to regulating our moods. It plays a critical role in managing anxiety and depression.
Many of the studies on nutritional psychology note changes in mood within just a few weeks. It seems that eating a rainbow of natural foods is very important for our mental health. So, the good news is some of the healthy choices you are making to achieve that beach body for next summer are also going to be increasing your chances of having a sunny personality.
There is a growing body of information out there on eating for wellness. One organisation you may want to check-out if you are after more research or to even buy some cookbooks is the Center for Nutritional Psychology.