Many people consider changing their eating habits when they feel they’re gaining too much weight, or perhaps when they are advised by their doctor to improve their health. As commendable as that is, too often people don’t look at their wellbeing holistically or ask themselves: how does my diet affect my mental and emotional wellbeing?
From the functional medicine perspective, nutrition is there to help you restore your immune system and your physical health, but also to protect and nurture your mental health. It’s important to start thinking about our nutrition as an essential component of our complete wellbeing. Here’s how you can leverage your eating habits to protect your mental health and fight stress, too.
Plan your meals ahead
Haphazard meals and unplanned sugary snacks can often lead to mood changes and sudden energy surges as well as that feeling of midday slump when the effect of sugar subsides. Your mental wellbeing (and physical wellness) can benefit greatly from a structured meal plan.
You can determine your mealtimes so that you never run out of energy and feel fatigued, and choose healthy, nutrient-dense meals with balanced macronutrients. That way, you will curb cravings, sustain your energy levels, and feed your brain at the right times with quality food.
Invest in quality food
Now that we’ve brought up quality food – try not to swap quality for subpar foods just because you’d like to cut your expenses. There are other ways to save up, and opting for quality, seasonal and local groceries is a worthy investment.
Vitamin and mineral-packed vegetables and fruits, as well as nuts, seeds, fish, other lean protein sources, and healthy foods are all considered brain food. From the essential fatty acids found in, say, salmon, to protein and healthy carbs essential for energy production, your brain and your mental wellbeing will thrive on your wholesome diet.
Supplements for mental health
Typically, people turn to supplementation to manage a chronic illness better or to shed some weight, boost their immune system, and the like. Fortunately, there are quality supplements such as CopaCalm formulated to reduce your daily stress levels and thus improve your mental wellbeing, without making you feel drowsy.
Since stress is a natural part of our lives, you don’t have to wait for burnout to hit, or to start feeling anxious. You can act preventatively and use your nutrition and supplementation plan to bring more calm into your everyday life and to avoid the build-up of stress to affect your mental wellbeing.
Don’t forget to hydrate
To truly contribute to your long-term health, your nutrition plan also needs to include proper hydration. We’ve all been in those situations when a piercing headache would remind us that we haven’t had a sip of water in hours.
Distractions can happen and sometimes you might be wrapped up in work, but a bottle of water next to you can be a great reminder to keep your body and mind hydrated. Water is one of the most essential components for detoxing your body properly, and it allows your body to metabolize all the nutrients you consume.
Practice mindful eating
If you tend to watch TV or scroll down your newsfeed while you eat, chances are that you might eat more than you need or that you’re not savoring your meals. Mindful eating is a healthy practice that helps you adapt your attitude towards food as more than mere fuel. Having a meal with your family or on your own is a good time to slow down and enjoy yourself and connect with those you love.
Introducing such mindful practices as part of your nutrition can actually foster a healthier relationship with food and allow you to take even better care for yourself, diversify your meals more, and become aware of how you treat yourself and your eating choices.
Leading a healthy life means you should always account for your mental health and your physical wellness, and ideally consider them as part of a whole. If you need support in refining your diet and lifestyle to focus on your mental health more, you can book a consultation with our functional medicine experts and get the right kind of guidance to achieve your goals.