Even with spring approaching are you still feeling a bit strung out? Spring is a time of awakening and a lot can be going on, both in our body and mind. The body and mind are intrinsically connected. The good news is, there dietary solutions to help assist in mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and stress! Tired of hearing “You are what you eat”? My theory is… you are what you digest and assimilate. I strongly believe your diet can greatly help these conditions.
While Western medicine treats the body as a group of separate parts that function independently of one another, the truth is that our bodies are holistic organisms that need attention paid to the entire biological system as opposed to its various parts. This includes the mind and emotions, which can benefit from a holistic, nutritional approach to self-care.
Eating for Mental Health
How can you eat to help combat depression and anxiety? Here are my suggestions.
- Try a healthy, plant-based diet. If your body chemistry is off, chances are your brain chemistry is, as well. Which makes feeling stressed even worse. Not only that but when you physically feel terrible, it can negatively affect your emotional state. Eating a plant-based diet like the one I outline in The Beauty Detox Solution will help you create the ideal environment in your body for vibrant good health.
- Reduce Chemicals, Eat Organic. Human beings were not meant to eat all of the chemicals we consume in the form of additives, preservatives, artificial flavorings, and artificial colorings. All of these ingredients increase toxicity in our bodies, which can affect both mental and physical health. Source organic where you can. The top toxic foods can be found in the dirty dozen list which is produced each year by the EWG.
- Avoid Caffeine & Processed Sugar. These stimulants may give you a little kick of energy to start, but they ultimately deplete serotonin, which is a necessary “feel good” brain chemical.
- Eat A Brightly Colored Assortment Of Fruits and Vegetables. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to stress, tension, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. By selecting a variety of colorful plant foods, you can ensure you are getting the variety of vitamins and minerals you need for optimal mental and physical health.
- Eat Healthy Fats. With such an emphasis on “Fat-free’ and “low-fat” in Western food culture, many people don’t realize how much we actually need it! Healthy fats assist in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fatty acids also play a significant role in brain health. In fact, a 2007 study showed just how important fatty acids were when researchers showed a link between Omega-3 fatty acids and protection against Parkinson’s disease. Great healthy fats include raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and coconut oil. Eat plenty of these foods to protect your overall brain health, particularly those containing Omega-3 fats like chia and flaxseeds.