Posted on

Eat Well for a Healthy Mind

Eat Well for a Healthy Mind

It’s no secret that eating well is a core ingredient to leading a healthy lifestyle and feeling great. But just how beneficial is our nutrition to our minds as well as our bodies?

It’s commonly known that eating well greatly benefits our physical health. It also directly affects our emotional wellbeing too. This has been proven by heaps of research over the years and has also become more publicly shared by experts such as Dr Rupy Aujla of The Doctors Kitchen who encourages taking a holistic view of the body and mind. Much like the Lean Lunch ethos, he champions ‘No myths. No fads. Just delicious healthy food’.

Eat well for a healthy mind

Dr Gabriela Cora, Psychiatrist explains ‘We tend to separate our brain from the rest of our body, but good health means good health from a holistic perspective – from head to toe. Why wouldn’t we think eating well would also impact our mental health?’

She says that sticking to a healthy diet of good food, means setting yourself up for less fluctuations in mood, an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to focus. Studies have even found that healthy diets can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A main source of the connection between our diets and our minds comes from the relationship our brain has with a gastrointestinal system. A Harvard Medical School article describes how the gut-brain connection is real. Have you ever described something as ‘gut wrenching’ or been in a situation where you’ve ‘felt nauseous’ or had ‘butterflies’? These expressions exist because anxieties and emotions can link to stomach issues and vice-versa.

To put it simply, your gastrointestinal tract is home to billions of bacteria. These influence neurotransmitters, chemical substances that send messages to the brain. Two of the more commonly known ones are dopamine and serotonin. Both of these make us feel good, boost our wellbeing and help us with things like sleeping well.

Eating healthy, delicious and nutritious food encourages ‘good’ bacteria.

In turn, this makes our mood more stable and promotes positive wellbeing. On the flip side, junk foods can cause inflammation that slows down the production of the feel-good neurotransmitters. 

Mental Health Charity, Mind, also gives lots of tips for how a healthy diet can improve your mood, give you more energy and help you think more clearly. Sugary foods, in particular, like biscuits, sweets and fizzy drinks, can make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly. This temporary spike may make you feel good for a spell – but it’s better to feel good all the time than seek a 10-minute boost! If blood sugars drop, we can feel tired, irritable and depressed. Eating nutritious foods, regularly will keep us steady and energised on an ongoing basis. 

This is why Lean Lunch is something we are so passionate about. Our fresh, healthy meals packed with goodness are satisfying and ensure you have all of the nutrients you need to feel great, whatever the time of day.

Fruit and vegetables are, of course, key to maintaining a healthy mind. You’ll find at least three of your five a day in all of our meals. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fibre that we need to feel physically and mentally good. Eating the rainbow, with a colourful plate of food is a good way to gauge the nutrition in the meal.

Staying hydrated, as we all hear so often, is vital to our physical and mental health. And, though so many of us love a morning coffee, ditching the caffeine can also help improve your sleep and leave behind the peaks and troughs of energy, for a more stable, revitalized mood. 

Find out how easy it is to have good mood food delivered to your door with Lean Lunch.

References

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection

https://www.aetna.com/health-guide/food-affects-mental-health.html

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/food-and-mood/about-food-and-mood/