You Are What You Eat
“You are what you eat,” they say, as we roll our eyes, having it heard it a million times before. But the research isn’t wrong; nutrition has, in fact, been proven to not only link heavily with our physical health, but also our mental wellbeing. An entire diet overhaul can feel quite daunting, so read on to find out simple ways to adjust your diet to eat well for both your body and your mind.
Studies such as this one have independently discovered that eating well results in higher levels of wellbeing, with an emphasis on plant-based sources, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes. Consistency is key – regularly eating five or more pieces of fruit or vegetables a day is an amazing start, and quite easy to do; a portion can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced (no more than 150ml), and even baked beans count! Fruit and vegetables are just one part of a holistically wholesome diet, we also need to balance these with starchy carbohydrates, dairy or dairy alternatives and beans and pulses. The NHS Eatwell Guide is a wonderful interactive resource that shows you easy ways to achieve this.
The thing to remember is that, just like the liver, kidneys and heart, our brain is an organ and needs good nutrition to maintain it. A diet with a good balance of complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, is perfect for brain health, and is a brilliant cornerstone of an integrated wellbeing approach, consisting of good nutrition as well as psychological and wellbeing support.
Water also plays an important role in good nutrition and thus wellbeing – ensuring we maintain good hydration levels benefits us in so many ways, not least our mental function, memory, mood and concentration. Even mild dehydration can impair brain performance.
So, eat up and drink up; a few diet tweaks are an easy way to boost your mood, and simple to use alongside other wellbeing resources.