Optimal nutrition is key for a healthy mind and body. While this probably isn’t news to you, this month we’d like to delve a bit further into this connection between food and mood, and how you can nourish your body in the right ways.
There are different food groups that make up a healthy nutritious diet. These include; fruit and vegies, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and complex carbohydrates. These types of foods provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy, satisfy your hunger and benefit your health.
A simple way to help ‘indulge’ your brain and improve your overall mood is to start eating specific foods that can help your body and brain ‘feel good’. These can include:
- A variety of nuts (fresh, raw & organic if possible)
- Flax, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp seeds
- Eggs (always organic, pasture raised)
- Salmon and other fatty fish
- Blueberries and other dark coloured berries
- Broccoli, and other dark green leafy greens (eg spinach, kale, lettuce, etc)
- Black currants
But why do these foods help you may ask? In order to understand how foods can improve your wellbeing, it’s important to understand how the brain regulates mood…
The brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate with the rest of the body, two, of which are specifically related to mood: inhibitory and excitatory. As the names suggest, excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate our bodies and minds, while inhibitory neurotransmitters act to calm our mood. Too much of either can have a negative effect, so the best path to happiness is to create a chemical balance in the brain to regulate the two types.
It is important to do this in a healthy way though, with foods as suggested above. You may have noticed, that most of the foods listed in fact contain ‘good fats’ – excellent fuel for our brain and nervous systems.
If you’re struggling with food and / or mood, come in and see Tiina our Founder and Head Naturopath. She can help you to look for signs and symptoms of where you may be out of balance and help to re-align you back to good health.
You constantly create new cells out of the ingredients (food) that you put in your mouth. You literally are what you eat! Eating right has the power to change your life. Empower yourself and contact us today.