“When you eat a nutritious diet, you’ll have fewer mood swings, a more positive outlook, and better focus.”
Experts around the globe and statistics show our health is being challenged in ways we simply could not have anticipated years ago. Recent years have witnessed a massive increase in the number of depression and anxiety disorders being diagnosed in teenagers and young children. The modern western lifestyle not only affected our physical health but also wreaked havoc on our mental health as well.
Yet, one of the most effective and underused tools to combat depression and anxiety lies at the end of our fork, and scientific research proves that what we eat impacts both our physical and mental health.
We learn early on that eating well helps us feel and look our best. What we’re not always told is that good nutrition has a significant impact on our Mental Wealth, as well. This is why Wholesome Foods is a cornerstone habit of the CHAMPS MWEALTH strategy.
Nourishing foods provide key nutrients, setting the foundation for optimal brain functions, so if you are running low on a few key vitamins and minerals, you may experience issues with mood or excessive worrying.
It’s the small changes that have big effects. Eating to beat depression and anxiety is all about understanding the connections between foods you eat and your brain, knowing how to eat for more brain-nutrient density, and becoming a master of self-nourishment.
A healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle will help you to improve your mood, make you energetic and thus help you think more clearly.
Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Plant-based food essentially contains a lot of the minerals, vitamins, and fibre we need to keep ourselves physically fit and mentally healthy. Research shows there are significant benefits if we can have 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in a day. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even started the 5 A Day campaign.
- 1 portion is equivalent to 80 grams of fresh, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables
- Tinned or canned varieties in natural juice or water, with no added salt or sugar
- 30 grams of dried fruit equals one of your five-a-day servings
- Avoid Potatoes, yams, and cassava in your diet because they are high in starch
To find out more about the benefits of these wonderful greens, listen to Dr. Sunni on the March CHAMPS Talks.
Protein Rich Food Is a Key to Mental Upliftment
Amino acids found in protein-rich foods such as peas, beans, lentils, soy products, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs, and cheese aid in the production of neurotransmitters that help regulate and treat depression and anxiety. This variety makes you feel satiated for a longer time and helps you relax both in body and mind.
Special mention can be made of omega-3-rich cold-water seafood like salmon, sardines, tuna, trout, oysters, and mussels that help in lowering depression and anxiety levels.
Consume Minimally Processed Wholegrains
Reach out for oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, corn tortillas, barley, and quinoa instead of refined grains like white rice, white bread, and baked goods to beat depression, mood swings, and anxiety. Many whole grains are naturally high in tryptophan, an amino acid required by your body to make serotonin and melatonin. The “feel-good hormone” serotonin boosts mood and relaxes the brain and body, while melatonin aids in maintaining regular sleep cycles.
Eating well does not mean you change your diet drastically, but you need to take care of what you are putting on your plate, and so Life at No.27 has taken up the initiative of celebrating National Growing for Wellbeing Week 2022 (6th to 12th June), when they encourage people to grow their produce for better physical and mental wellbeing.
Apart from having nutritious food, you also need to keep yourself hydrated by drinking 6–8 glasses of fluid a day, with water being the most affordable and healthy option. Keep a watch on your gut health as well, as your gut determines your mood to a greater extent, as discussed by Dr Sunni Patel in an extensive interview at Champs Learns.
We would love to hear about how positive changes to your diet and nutrition have contributed to positive Mental Wealth!