As people we have a connection to food that is unavoidable, but it can be difficult to know what food is good for us. This is complicated by how expensive it can be to buy healthy food, particularly at the moment. We’ve all heard about needing our 5 a Day foods and having a healthy balanced diet, but what else can we do? How can altering your diet benefit your mental health and make you feel better?
We are going to take a look at a few areas where food can be a benefit to our mindset and indeed how we feel, as well as some foods that can help tackle these.
Tiredness can have a massive affect on our motivation, productivity and overall sense of wellbeing. If we are tired then doing anything seems like a chore, even if it is something we love. The impact of this on our mental health can, at times, be overwhelming and a domino effect can ensue. Of course, tiredness can be dealt with by taking some time out, getting some rest and carrying out some much needed self-care, but food can also help here.
Food can help us sleep and help us have more energy. If you’re wanting to be less affected by tiredness then it is a good idea to eat fresh, unprocessed foods, as well as things like nuts and complex carbs. Drinking lots of water is also a great benefit here.
Some examples of specific food that is great for alertness and a boost of energy are bananas, yoghurt, fatty fish, sweet potatoes and brown rice.
Regulating Your Emotions
At any point in time we can be faced with the difficulty of regulating our emotions and it can be for any number of reasons. We have talked about dopamine and serotonin in many of our articles which you can read in our Wellness & Self-Care section as well as our social media channels. Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters which are chemicals produce by the brain that help us control our feelings.
To help our brains produce these fabulous chemicals we can eat proteins. Some great examples of proteins to add to your diet include fish, cheese and milk.
Keeping Your Brain Healthy
Having a healthy brain is vital to keeping your mental health in check. Whilst on its own it isn’t going to solve your challenges, you need to remember to look for that help when you need it and can find more information in Therapy & Where to Find it, or indeed any section on the magazine. What having a healthy brain will do, is make it easier for you to focus on the tasks you need to, whether that is getting help, finding your own solutions or making small changes to your everyday life.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are fantastic ways to help your brain stay healthy and you achieve the things that you need to on a day to day basis, in turn boosting your mental health.
Some great foods that provide Omega 3 and Omega 6 Oily fish, such as Mackerel, nuts and avocados.
Of course, this is just a small selection of ideas and suggestions. Make sure you think about your personal circumstances when thinking of making changes to your diet, such as any illnesses or allergies you might have that could be impacted. If you are at all uncertain then have a chat with your GP, who can give you a more personalised idea of how to make positive changes to you diet and could even refer you to a specialist to help you.
Do you have any energy boosting recipes you’d like to share, or tips on boosting your mood with certain foods? We’d love to hear from you, either in the comments below or over on our TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.