Siobhan Lindsay
About Author
April 10, 2024
Nutrition & Mental Wellbeing

Nutrition, our bodies and our mental health

When trying to be more conscious in our food choices hereare some tips:

Try to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety ofnutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholes, lean proteins, andhealthy fats. These foods support brain health by providing us with essentialvitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice) andlegumes (beans, lentils). These foods provide us with a steady release ofGlucose which help maintain a stable mood and energy levels.

Prioritise Protein such as poultry, fish, tofu, beans, and legumes. Protein contains aminoacids, which are the building blocks of neurotransmitters that regulate mood.

Increase your Fruit and Vegetable intake as these are rich in vitamins, minerals, andantioxidants that support our brain health and help reduce inflammation.

Limit Sugar and Processed Foods as these can lead to energy crashes and mood swings.

Remember to stay hydrated as dehydration can impair our cognitive function and mood. Youshould aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support optimal brain function.

Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids in our diet. These can be found in fish, walnuts,flaxseeds, and chia seeds, are beneficial for our brain health and they havebeen linked to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption as excessive caffeine and alcohol intake can disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to anxiety and depression. Try to limit them and be mindful of how these substances affect your mental well-being.

By prioritising abalanced diet rich in whole foods and making mindful choices about what you eat, you can support your mental health and overall well-being.

When reflecting onyour mental health, we must look at our bodies. More specifically if we’re moving them enough. It is a well-known fact that exercise is a powerful way to support our mental health and well-being. Here are just some of the amazing benefits of moving our bodies:

Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that act as natural mood lifters and regular exercise can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression while promotinga sense of well-being. Regular exercise can also improve sleep quality and duration andbetter sleep improves our mental health by enhancing mood, cognitive function,and stress management.

Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and learning. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and promotes the growth of new neurons, which can enhance brain healthand cognitive performance.

Regular exercise can improve body image and increase self esteem.  

Engaging in physical activity can help to regulate our emotions and improve our emotional resilience.

Exercise provides us with a healthy outlet to release any pent-upenergy and tension we have as well as reducing any feelings of irritability andagitation we’re holding.

Activities like yoga, tai chi, and mindful walking combine movement with mindfulness practices. Doing these activities promote relaxationreduces our stress and increases our mental clarity.

Another great form of exercise is a group exercise classes or joining a sports team as these can provide opportunities for social interaction and support, which are essential for our mental health and well-being.

Exercise also promotes brain health and may even reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neuro degenerative diseases later in life.

With all these incredible benefits we would be silly not to try to incorporate regular exercise in our daily routine.

Our exercise routine andour diet can significantly boost our mental health and overall wellbeing. Therefore, this month we challenge you to try and make at least one small change to boost your mental health…

Maybe join an exercise class or say no thanks to that extra glass of wine!

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