Updated: Sep 4, 2018
We always hear about how important our gut health is, sometimes referred to even as the second brain. I mean, it makes sense that what we ingest could effect us. We know this by weight gain, digestive issues, & much worse.
But I think another factor in our gut health gets commonly overlooked, that what we eat partakes in a huge part of our mental health!
I've compiled a list of different food items that are known to help ease symptoms of anxiety and help correct different imbalances within the body.
Magnesium plays a part in over 700 metabolic processes in the body and over 300 chemical reactions which can effect several mental health issues; one being anxiety.
Studies find that in times of extreme stress, magnesium is used up within the body in larger amounts. Plus, with all of the food processing stripping away most of it's magnesium, we are more likely to become deficient. By eating some foods rich in this mineral, we can find a soothing factor as it helps to reset the nervous system, protects the heart & arteries, as well as aids in relaxing the muscles.
All very helpful factors when considering mental health.
Some foods to try out:
almonds & cashews (hellooooo trail mix!)
greens (collard, spinach, & dandelion in particular)
Consider a tranquil epsom salt bath! (Magnesium sulfate)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for our mental health as they are important to regulate our brain's inflammation. By eating foods with healthy EPA fatty acids, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin are able to reach specific cells which signal happier emotional responses.
some foods to try out:
avocado (2 points for avocados!)
Try eating sauerkraut as a probiotic to have a happy, healthy gut!
Good Ole H2O
We all know how much hydration plays a part in our health, but I certainly was intrigued to find out much drinking water can effect our mental health. When we're dehydrated, not only is blood flow low functioning, but can also increase heart rate and make us feel faint. All symptoms we'd like to decrease instead of increase! Staying hydrated will also help cortisol levels and serotonin production.
Perhaps try out an app made that tracks how much water you're drinking & reminds you to drink more!
These molecules very important in proper body functions, however they also act as a "defense" to our system from biochemical changes and/or stress.
Try out Turmeric for it's powerful antioxidant benefits.
We can use Chamomile or Green teas for their soothing effects! Learn more here.
Some Things To Avoid
Try staying away from caffeine
Processed foods & Refined Sugars
Nooooooow, I may always be looking for another reason to say why veganism rules. But for me, mental health is a huge importance in my life after watching generations of family members neglect their mental health and suffer in silence. I want to understand my mental health, how I might be impacting it or not doing enough to impact it! If you can't commit to a vegan lifestyle, at least cutting out processed meats & dairy can give you a head start on efficiently restoring balance to your body!
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