We live in enlightened times, and most people now know just how important a healthy diet is when it comes to taking care of your body. But did you know that a good diet is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health?
Studies are beginning to show that what we eat can affect our brain structure and lead to changes in mood and behaviour. While your diet probably isn’t responsible for everything that ails you, making some healthy changes is never a bad idea, and it’s an easy way to ensure you’re doing everything you can for your body and your mind.
Eat and drink regularly
If you don’t eat regularly, your blood sugar can drop, which will lead to a mood crash. Make sure you eat healthy meals and small, nutritious snacks throughout the day to avoid crashing, and keep a big bottle of water with you to stay hydrated.
Get plenty of ‘good’ fats
A lot of people think that eating healthily means avoiding fat altogether, but some fats are great in small quantities. Your brain needs fatty oils like omega-3 and omega-6 which can be found in hemp; flax; chia ; coconut oil; pumpkin and avocados. You can get lots of healthy fat by eating a small serving of nuts or seeds a day. Avoid trans fats, which are certainly not a health food.
Protein contains amino acids, which are in turn used by your brain to regulate thoughts and emotions. It’s no surprise then that protein is pretty important for your mental health. The best sources of protein are quinoa; lentils; beans; legumes and nuts.
Cut the caffeine
Drinking lots of tea and coffee might make you feel better in the immediate, but in the long run it’s not good for you at all. It’s been identified as a key contributor to anxiety and depression, and it can also cause insomnia and irritability. Switch to green tea and caffeine-free alternatives and you may notice a difference straight away.
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