You know the saying, “You are what you eat?”, well it’s still true! But today, I’ll be writing about how our mood is impacted by the things we don’t eat or the important things our diet is lacking. Next week, we’ll get to how the food we choose to eat impacts our mood.
When your body is lacking key nutrients, it doesn’t function as well, and you and your mood suffers. I think that sometimes, we forgot about the important role that diet plays in mental health and how our diet can help regulate our mood. We get into a cycle of thinking that therapy is all about learning coping skills, exploring deep emotions, past traumas, etc, that we can often forget about some basic needs like diet.
While I’m not a nutritionist or dietician, I am very conscious of what I put into my body. Through personal experience, living a healthy lifestyle, and taking in what body building has taught me, I have been able to learn some of the basics and apply it to my own life with undeniable results!
So let's get to it...
Diets low in fruits and vegetables can lead to mental health challenges. Fruits and vegetables help balance vitamins that are needed to keep the brain healthy. It is recommended that we get 5 portions per day in order to keep our brains functioning at their best. It’s good practice to balance your intake of fruits and vegetables to balance the sugar found in fruits. Some of my favorites for the summer season are grilled asparagus, zucchini noodles, cherries, and raspberries!
Diets low in Omega 3’s and sometimes Omega 6 (fatty acids) play an important role on how well our brains function and how well it communicates with the rest of our body.Also, how well our cells communicate with each other. These fatty acids are essential fats and are not produced in our bodies naturally. Therefore, we can only get them from the food we eat such as oily fish (tuna, salmon), walnuts, spinach, and many more!
Lets talk water! Our bodies are about 3/4 water and we need at least 8 glasses a day to help replace what we lose. When we aren’t taking in enough water, we can feel tired, experience low energy, suffer from decreased concentration, dehydration, nausea, headaches, and constipation. All of these consequences/side effects from lack of water make us more vulnerable to changes in mood.
If you realize that you need to change some things within your diet, here’s a few tips:
- Make sure you are incorporating the key points from this blog post.
- Develop a routine: prepare meals for the week and incorporate time for meals into your daily schedule.
- Eat at intervals to help maintain energy and blood sugar levels. The easiest way to do this is make sure you are having 3 main meals with snacks in between.
- If you are still struggling, seek some professional help or support! There is nothing weak about doing that!
Happy Friday and have a great weekend everyone!