(Enjoy The Life You Deserve)
We all have the right to feel good about ourselves. Each day is an opportunity to make things better and feel good about life. But sometimes due to neglecting our diet, we deprive ourselves of this and deny ourselves with the life we deserve.
According to Sona DeLurgio, Psy.D, LMFT, “Struggling with food and body appearance and becoming highly focused on changing it can lead to shame, depression, and unhealthy relationships with food and exercise.”
According to a psychiatrist, eating well is not only essential to promote a healthy body but also to have a sound mind. Eating healthy is not just caring for your physical needs but taking care of your mental health as well. Dietary changes can boost mental function and reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and many other mental illnesses.
People tend to advance their mental power by acquiring more wisdom and learning something new. Not all are aware that you can promote your brain health through your gut. Our gut possesses a nervous system that sends messages to the brain by way of the vagus nerve. That is probably one reason why we sometimes feel uneasy when we are anxious or stressed. And because the two are related, whatever we will put in our gut will have an impact on how our brain functions.
Ashley Hicks White, PhD, LMFT said “Usually people with eating disorders need an interdisciplinary approach, including individual and family or couples therapy, nutritional counseling, medical monitoring, and sometimes medications or group therapy.”
I listed here five foods that can make you feel good as they work best for our guts.
- Foods Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The standard diet we have doesn’t have enough omega-3 fatty acids but is said to be high in trans fats and saturated fats that negatively affects our brain. Omega-3 fatty acids have effects on the production of brain chemicals which in charge of our moods and the increase in dopamine and serotonin production. It also boosts our learning and memory. Studies even show that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, and sardines help reduce the risk of schizophrenia, attention hyperactivity disorder, depression, and other mental illnesses.
- Whole Grains
Whole wheat products – oats, bulgur, wild rice, soy and beans, and barley – are some healthy sources of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates release glucose slowly, the reason why we feel full for a more extended period. It provides us with a constant resource of fuel for the body and brain.
Patricia Ravitz, LMFT said “Overeating and restricting are distractions. You need to become curious about what you are distracting yourself from and why.”
- Lean Protein
The food that we feed our body is vital as they are broken down to be used by the body to produce substances which let different parts of our nervous system to correspond with other parts of the body efficiently. Turkey, fish, chicken, beans, and eggs are rich sources of lean protein. They help retain balanced serotonin levels. They also help improve our cognitive functioning.
- Healthy Leafy Greens
Kale, spinach, arugula, Romaine, broccoli and other leafy green veggies are rich in folic acid. A lack in B vitamins, folic acid and other vitamins are associated with depression, lethargy, and insomnia.
Leafy greens are rich in selenium that aid in improving our immune system and hormone metabolism.
- Fermented Foods
Kimchi, kefir, yogurt with active cultures and some pickled vegetables are excellent sources of probiotics (good bacteria) which are said to lessen anxiety.
The study regarding the association between our gut and mental health continues, but one thing remains clear: keeping a healthy gut equates to maintaining a healthy brain. The healthy bacteria in our gut help fight depression and anxiety.
It is important to consider our diet as a primary contributor to a tip-top mental health. So to have the life you deserve, a healthy and happy one, it is best to start with our gut. It is our gut that significantly influences the way we think and feel.