You may have heard of the expression ‘you are what you eat’ when it comes to your diet, and in terms of mental health, this is certainly the case. The type of food you consume daily is the fuel that determines how well your physical body and mind function. Most people are aware that different types of food impact our health physically and that good diets may reduce the likes of cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. But, did you know that you can better your mental health solely through your gut?
With that in mind, below are a few helpful hints as to how you can change your diet to improve your mental health, taking into account every mealtime.
You should avoid drinks that consist of excessive sugar or caffeine, such as fizzy soda, tea and coffee. Coffee contains such a high dosage of caffeine that it can result in side effects which resemble a panic attack. Sufferers of anxiety may notice they are experiencing symptoms such as sweaty palms, a faster pulse and overthinking.
Keep your choice of drink plain and simple and stick to water if you’re worried about what bottles and cans may contain. It would be advised to drink around six to eight glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration. According to studies, even the slightest hint of dehydration can cause low mood, loss of concentration and extreme tiredness.
You should avoid skipping breakfast at all costs, as your body needs the fuel to kickstart itself in the morning and function to capacity throughout the morning until lunchtime. If you’re not a huge eater, opt for healthy snack options such as a piece of fruit or a wholegrain bar which are sure to keep you well stimulated for the busy working day ahead.
Lunch and dinner
When it comes to preparing lunch and dinner, steer clear from foods which are high in sugar, fat and dairy. Instead, choose high protein options as they contain beneficial amino acids. This part of your diet can help control your thoughts and give you a more positive outlook.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain, nuts fish and unsaturated fats. According to research, if you stick to this type of diet, you will reduce your symptoms of anxiety and depression by up to 30%.
If you have a sweet tooth and always crave dessert after your main meal, you could indulge in some classic chocolate cupcakes which offer an innovative ketogenic ingredient; proven by scientists to improve symptoms of mental health. The ketones replace the glucose within the body and go on to affect our brain’s neurotransmitters. This recipe will teach you how to make your very own chocolate cupcakes which are not only delicious but will also have an immensely positive impact on your mental health – what’s not to love?
Yoghurt is also an excellent choice for dessert, as it contains probiotics (or healthy bacteria) which have been proven by scientists to reduce symptoms of severe stress and anxiety.
Approach your mental health in a holistic way – sleep, eat well and exercise and you will be laying healthy foundations for a well toned brain!