Yes I know that is not how you spell mindfullness... but the link between our mental health and what we eat is integral to our well-being.
Ever gone to the fridge or cupboard and wondered what it is you are looking for in there? Guaranteed it is not a carrot or a glass or water. We often use food to distract us from what is really wrong.
I don't think it is any surprise that at this time of year we are all feeling a bit low. People are suffering from the start of cold season, the run up to Christmas has started along with the parties and the stress. Summer is well and truly over and the long winter is on the horizon. But with my help you can change this with the help of a change in your diet.
With regard to mental health what you eat plays a massive part in how you feel. If you have been eating a carbohydrate heavy diet due to the colder weather and are now restricting yourself in readiness for the festive period. Not only will your mental health will suffer but so will your hormonal health, leaving your tired, emotional and feeling very low.
My top tops for getting back on track and lifting your mood naturally using food as your medicine:
Eat more prebiotic fibre – The best way to increase the happy bugs that live in your gut is to eat more plant fibre. Inulin is a type of soluble fibre found in many plants. It is a "fructan" - meaning that it is made up of chains of fructose molecules that are linked together in a way that cannot be digested by your small intestine. Instead, it travels to the lower gut, where it functions as a prebiotic. The best sources are leeks, onions, garlic, artichokes and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. (chopping your garlic 10 minutes before you cook with it releases the allicin which gives garlic is anti-bacterial properties).
Increase your intake of healthy natural fats – By eating more eggs, avocados, olives, nuts and seeds you can help to stabilise your blood sugar, which in turn prevents you from having cravings and getting 'Hangry'.
Reduce your sugar intake – Eating food high in sugar, biscuits, hot chocolate, refined carbohydrates etc, can have a negative effect on your mood. When your blood sugar crashes, your body can release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are your fight or flight hormones, placing stress on your adrenal glands.
By avoiding these foods you will be amazed at how much better you can feel by eating foods that keep your blood sugar stable such as high quality protein, like eggs, and healthy fats such as avocados.
Eat more fish – Fatty fish such as wild salmon, anchovies, sardines and mackerel are brilliant sources of Omega-3 fats, which can be helpful for your brain function. You can also get Omega-3 from grass fed beef and lamb. Vegetarians and vegans can also increase their intake by eating more leafy green vegetables (e.g. kale), chia seeds, flax seeds and nuts. One of the best non-animal sources of Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of EPA and DHA is seaweed.
Remember you really are what you eat, you can improve the way you feel by determining what you put on your plate. In clinic I have seen clients significantly reduce their feelings of anxiety and depression by reducing the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates in their diet.
Exercise also (as always) plays such an integral part in boosting your mood, get those endorphins flowing and Shine from the inside out...