Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
I am sure that you have heard the cliché phrase of a healthy body, a healthy mind. But have you ever wondered how true that was? For me, I have always known a better diet can make you feel more energized, but I’ve always doubted that it can directly affect your mental health. After some research, I have finally found that the answer to that question is a yes— your diet can directly lead to a better mood.
A recent study has shown that foods consisting of fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats have led to a reduction in depression among participants. Nutritionist Eva Selhub compares your body to a car to explain this phenomenon. A car needs fuel to run efficiently; similarly, your body needs fuel but in the form of food. Your brain is a very expensive car that requires the best type of fuel, so when you intake foods that are high in minerals and vitamins, your brain is better nourished and protected from oxidative stress.
Moreover, serotonin which is a neurotransmitter in charge of your sleep, mood, and appetite is produced mainly in your gastrointestinal tract. This means when you eat healthier and “cleaner” foods your gastrointestinal tract produces more serotonin, helping to reduce the risk of depression by 25% to 35%. Not only does a healthy diet reduce depression, but it also reduces stress. Stress and blood pressure have a direct relationship; as stress increases, your blood pressure and flow are negatively affected. However, foods high in minerals, vitamin E and omega-3, improves blood flow and the delivery of nutrition to your brain. This directly leads to you having a better and more energized mood throughout your day and your weeks.
Breaking the habit of a bad diet can be very hard but if you take it one small step at a time, it can be much easier. You do not have to change your whole diet or only eat lettuce and kale to be healthy, so below are a few recipes that are both delicious and give your body and brain the good fuel that it needs.
Chicken parm stuffed peppers
Bell Peppers are rich in Vitamin A, C, iron, fiber and potassium. They deliver a satisfying but healthy food choice which can be customized to your liking.
Cauliflower crust pizza
I mean who does not like pizza? Not only is pizza delicious but this a healthy and easy
to make alternatives. Cauliflower is high in fiber, a good source of antioxidants, low carb, high in vitamins and minerals. Cayenne helps lower blood pressure, helps with digestion, and boosts metabolism. Lastly, garlic can combat a common cold, improve cholesterol, better blood pressure.
Skinny chocolate bark
To top it all off, a great desert choice that is easy to make, delicious and good for your body and mind. Nuts have Vitamin e, magnesium, phosphorus, and abundant in antioxidants.
You can still have an enjoyable and healthy diet without having to put aside the things that you love most, as evident by the recipes above. A bit of vegetable, fruits and nuts in your diet can go a long way and help you and your body feel more alive. So appreciate your body and your mind and provide it with the best fuel!
- Armita Nahavandi