Food and Wellbeing
Taking care of our physical health involves being mindful of how little or how much physical activity we do, how and what we eat, how our sleep is, if we use any substances like alcohol or other drugs, and any pre-existing health conditions that might impact on our mental health.
Our diet has an impact on our mood. Our mood can be boosted by ensuring we eat a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, vitamins and essential fats and meat. The impact of having a high sugar diet such as eating a lot of processed foods and take away can not only influence how you feel physically but also impact on getting to sleep.
Research has shown some pretty significant links between what we eat and how we feel. It turns out that one of the best reasons to eat your veggies like asparagus, blueberries, and any leafy greens (spinach, kale) is because it can make you feel good! These veggies have been shown to reduce levels of anxiety and depression. Other good mood foods to remember include avocadoes, salmon, almonds and other nuts.
Still not convinced? Check out this study:
Researchers at the University of Oxford wanted to find out whether inmates of a prison near London would be more peaceful if they were given the supplements they were lacking due to their poor diet. Normally, the prisoners’ meal plan consisted of bread, fries and sweets. In the experiment, while they were unable to change their diet, they added supplements containing the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids they were missing. Within five months, test subjects were committing 37% fewer criminal acts than their fellow prisoners who were missing out on the vitamins and minerals.
Here’s the thing, we get it. It can be really hard to eat well when everything convenient to eat are definitely not a part of the good mood foods! But making little changes to your day (like making sure to eat something for breakfast in the morning, or swapping one of your snacks for a piece of fruit and some almonds) is an easier way to start taking care of your gut. It’s also totally ok to have some junk food every once in a while! If you eat well most of the time with a cheeky slice of cake or a handful of chips here and there, that’s totally fine. You may even start to notice the difference in how you feel when you do eat junk food after you’ve been eating well!