Throughout this uneasy time it is important that we all focus on feeding our bodies with nourishing food that helps lift our mood and support our mental wellness.
I am far from an expert on this topic so I have decided to bring in the experts for this edition to help you understand what I know to be true.
According to Headspace, when you think of improving your mental health, you may not think about changing the food you eat. But there is a strong link between what you eat and how you feel!
“We know a poor diet can make you feel sluggish, low and increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. But now we are seeing a healthy diet (with a variety of fruit, veggies, nuts and wholegrains) can actually improve mental health.
This is a pretty new and exciting area of research. Two recent studies investigated whether healthy food could reduce depression symptoms. And the results were clear. People who ate a healthier diet improved their depression symptoms more than people who focused on only social support.”
Here’s how eating well can improve your headspace:
• help you get a better night’s sleep
• give you more energy
• improve your concentration
• make you less likely to crave foods with high sugar, salt or fat.
Professor Felice Jacka, Director of the Food and Mood Centre gives her tips to eating a healthier diet for your mental health:
• Often we turn to unhealthy snacks when we are stressed. So it’s good to develop coping strategies that are not related to food – like exercise or mindfulness.
• We know that some foods are very good for a healthy mind. Make sure your diet includes things like: colourful fruits and vegetables, foods high in fibre (wholegrain cereals and bread, beans, chickpeas, lentils and nuts), fermented foods like unsweetened yoghurt, olive oil, and fish (tinned is fine).
• Make small changes that are easy to stick to. Start by swapping an unhealthy afternoon snack for a healthy one, like a piece of fruit.
• You don’t have to be perfect, and don’t be too hard on yourself. A burger or a chocolate bar are fine every now and then (say, once on the weekend). But it’s important to make sure your diet includes a variety of nutritious foods, most of the time!
• Try to avoid too much red meat – a little bit is fine but keep it to 3-4 times per week.
At Longevity we pride ourselves on making healthy, affordable options for all tastebuds that are pre-prepared to take the hassle out of it for you. They are also all Dietitian approved through Health Management Dietitians. You can order online anytime and we can even deliver to your home or office – just go to: www.eat4longevity.com.au
Longevity Cairns Central and Smithfield
M: +61 400 078 456
A: Cairns Central Shopping Centre
Cnr Mcleod & Spence Street. Cairns
Cnr Kennedy Highway & Capt Cook