This week, we handed the content reigns to Dylan Foster of the health & wellness blog, Health Well Wise. Dylan's website content is chockablock full of articles centered around helpful home improvement tips to ways you can utilize gardening for your overall health. Dylan approached us with interest in writing a piece for us and we are BIG fans of supporting and showcasing our own. He whipped up a relevant and helpful article for you all called "Healthy Summer Eating: How It Can Affect Your Mental Health." The article digs into taking advantage of the foods more readily available to us during the summer months, and our favorite part - how feeling better physically leads to a better mental view and outlook. Check out Dylan's piece below and let us know what you think!
Healthy Summer Eating: How It Can Affect Your Mental Health: By Dylan Foster
Eating healthy in the summertime is about more than staying fit; there are so many benefits to utilizing fresh ingredients that are readily available during warmer weather, from antioxidant-rich berries that will boost your immune system to veggies that are chock full of vitamins that will keep you energized. What many people don’t realize however, is that this type of focused eating can also boost their mental health in a big way.
We already knew that certain types of foods can alter the way we feel; items that are high in cholesterol or sugar content can leave us feeling sluggish and can even contribute to symptoms of depression, and studies have shown that children who consume fewer vegetables, lean protein, and fruit are at a higher risk for developing ADHD. These healthier foods -- along with dark, leafy greens, nuts, yogurt, and whole grains -- can have a positive effect on your mental health, boosting cognitive function and reducing anxiety in some people.
Keep reading for some great info on how what you eat can affect your mental health.
While there is no one way for a person to find happiness, it’s certainly true that the right foods can help. Whether it’s a recipe that’s been in your family for generations and reminds you of your childhood or a protein-rich meal that gives you the energy to chase after your toddler all day, the right diet can help boost your mood and keep you feeling good, which, in turn, can help you battle the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
“The brain is a highly metabolic organ. It uses a lot of energy, a lot of nutrients,” says Dr. Tara Narula told CBS News in 2017. “It’s always on and it depends on fuel, but not just any fuel. It’s like a car. You want to give it expensive, high-quality fuel. That means foods that have the right nutrients, the right vitamins, and the right sources of protein because these form the building blocks for the neurotransmitters in the brain, for the cellular structures in the brain, and for the enzymes in the brain.”
Make Healthy Choices
Making healthy choices in one area of your life often leads to good decisions in other areas; this is true when it comes to diet and exercise, especially for those who have battled depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorder. The way we eat, move, and cope with our feelings can all have a profound effect on our mental health, and the choices we make filter into the way we perform in relationships and at work. If you’re living with any of these issues, click here for some great tips on how to make better choices.
Feel Better Physically for a Better Mental View
No matter how you look at it, certain foods that help your mental state can also help your physical health. For instance, dark, leafy greens like spinach can help prevent inflammation, helping those who suffer from swollen joints or back pain, and when you feel better physically, you boost your confidence and self-esteem. This can help those who are living with depression due to a physical ailment; the two are often linked, especially if there is chronic pain involved.
Better eating for better living is not a new concept, but it’s a bit easier to do in summer when there are fresh foods readily available both at the grocery store and at your local farmers market. With so many tasty, nutrient-rich foods to choose from this season, eating healthy during the warmer months should be no problem.
Dylan Foster is a writer at http://healthwellwise.com. He enjoys writing about topics related to how our homes affect our health and happiness. When he isn’t writing for the website, he works as an office assistant and enjoys hiking local trails with his dog, Samson.