Self-care through… healthy eating?

Many people may not equate self-care with how we eat, but when you think about it – taking care of yourself ALSO includes eating the right foods so your body can function at its best.

Studies have shown that our nutritional and digestive health directly affects our brain health and overall mood! (this explains so much right)


Being mindful of what you eat everyday takes work. So start small - here are 5 quick tips for better self-care through healthy eating (& how it helps):


1. Make your plate as colorful as possible


A recent longitudinal study in the UK has shown that eating fruits and veggies can enhance your mental well-being. It is recommended that half of your plate be fruits and or veggies.


2. Use herbs & spices


Herbs and spices help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and improve immune and brain functioning.


Research states the 7 best herbs and spices for brain health are: sage, turmeric, ginkgo biloba, ashwagandha, ginseng, gotu kola & lemon balm.


3. Mind your gut


Your gut, or gastrointestinal tract (GI), is home to 90% of your serotonin! Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that affects your mood, appetite, sleep, & memory, among other things. When you’re stressed out, your GI tract can become inflamed, which can affect your mood.


Foods you can eat for good gut health include: yogurt, walnuts, almonds, oat bran, garlic, pickles, & kimchi.


4. Eat your healthy fats


Eating healthy fats is crucial for brain and heart health. 60% of our brain is fat, so we need to eat {healthy} fats to keep our brain healthy!


Healthy fats include: avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, whole eggs, & oily fish.


5. Eat foods that will help you sleep better


A natural way to fight insomnia is to eat foods that are rich in tryptophan, such as: bananas, potatoes, almonds, seeds, & whole-grain oats.
















References:

Chang, C. Ke, D., & Chen, J. (2009). Essential fatty acids and human brain. Acta Neurologica Taiwanica, 18(4), 231-41.

Ocean, N., Howley, P., & Ensor, J. (2019). Lettuce be happy: A longitudinal UK study on the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and well-being. Social Science & Medicine, 222,335-345.

Nazish, N. (2017). 10 smart ways to make self care apart of every meal. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2017/12/11/10-smart-ways-to-make-self-care-apart-of-every-meal/#516c217d34fe

Wong, C. (2019). 7 best herbs and spices for brain health. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/best-herbs-and-spices-for-brain-health-4047818

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