Nutrition and your mental wellbeing - can it help?
It’s fairly clear that better nutrition can help the way you look and the way you perform.
But did you know it can also help with stress, anxiety and way you feel, which is pretty important during these uncertain times!
However, let’s be clear. Just eating your vegetables is not going to stop your anxiety and make you feel amazing. In reality, it’s pretty difficult to prove that specific diets or foods contribute to mental health.
But we are beginning to see correlations between what we eat and cognitive, or brain function.
There’s evidence of a poor diet (highly processed - high in sugar etc) and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression (1).
Effects of vitamin B12 deficiency can impact fatigue, poor memory, and depression (2).
There is evidence that a Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables and olive oil, shows protection against depression and anxiety (1).
There are foods that may help with neuroplasticity - brain function and repair (3).
The gut-brain axis - We're now seeing a link between the health of our gut and our brain known (4).
So what can you do?
Hydrate - I speak about this all the tie so keep a bottle with you and drink it until your wee is clear
Consider reducing high sugar and increase fibre/wholegrains around meal times
Look to include a wide range of different coloured fruit and vegetables
Consider nutrients the have a link to brain function like green veg (magnesium), B vitamins (wholegrain, meat, eggs, beans) zinc (eggs/beans) and get some vitamin D by spending time outside.
Look after your gut - when I say gut I mean your insides so how well you digest foods. This is why you want to include plenty of fruit, veg and wholegrains, reduce sugar/alcohol and potentially add probiotics to the mix
Don’t forget the importance of sleep and exercise - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Make sure focus on all three
This is the time where you REALLY want to get your diet in order.
This is the time where you REALLY have to think about your mental wellbeing.
If you needed more more help with your diet then make sure you check out our coaching programme.
Every two weeks we work on a selected habit. These actually include helping you destress, or increase your fruit and veg intake.
If you wanted to help getting control of your diet and needed some accountability and direction then make sure you check out our programme below. Contact me today for your Birmingham Nutritionist.