We all know a bit too well how a weekend full of beer, pizza & late night In-N-Out burgers can leave you feeling sluggish, sad and cranky come Monday morning. And the impact of food on our mental health isn't just anecdotal evidence either, with multiple studies showing a correlation between what we eat and how we feel. Although not a substitute for therapy or medication when needed, your diet can be a great lifestyle tool to boost your overall wellbeing. But what exactly should you eat? Here's what you need to know...
Keep On Eating
Eating irregular meals full of sugary, quick-releasing carbohydrates, will send your blood sugar levels sky rocketing... before you crash back down into a tired and cranky mess. Stabilise this by eating regular meals containing slower-releasing carbohydrates (think brown rice, quinoa & oats) combined with healthy fats and lean proteins. It'll keep both your energy levels and mentality more stable, whilst keeping you feeling fuller for longer too!
Scale Back The Caffeine
We love a good coffee here at Neat, but if you often feel anxious, a lot of caffeine is not going to help you at all. Remember it's a stimulant, so the quick energy burst will often be followed by a steep crash. It is also known to heighten those nasty physical symptoms of anxiety and panic, such as a racing heart and insomnia. Sorry to be boring, but maybe opt for a herbal tea instead...
Remember Fish Food
Who knew your favourite salmon poke bowl could be doing such wonders for your brain health (as well as burning through your wallet!). Salmon, mackerel and walnuts are known to be high omega 3 fatty acids, which support brain function and is said to help with symptoms of depression.
Eat Your Greens
If there's one thing we're sure of, it's that mum's are always right. So when she told you to eat your greens as a kid, she knew what she was talking about! Dark, leafy veggies - think spinach, kale and chard - are incredibly nutrient-dense and contain a whole host of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. If you want to feel your best in both your body and mind, they’re essential.
Lean Mean Proteins
The amino acid found in lean meats called tryptophan is to thank for keeping your Serotonin aka. your happy hormone levels balanced. So it's no wonder adding plenty of lean protein sources such as chicken, whey protein and tofu is a great way to boost your mental health. Improving your mood and your muscles at the same time sounds like a pretty good deal to us!