We are living in extraordinary times. Unprecedented times that we thought we would never experience in our lifetime. But unfortunately we are in the midst of a global pandemic and this can bring unwanted anxiety, depression, and many other mental health issues because of the uncertainty of what the future might bring.
This can lead us to use food as a source of comfort but it can have either a positive or negative impact.
If you think about it, our mental state varies from time to time and it is greatly impacted by what we eat.
Think of our body as a sacred temple, now, imagine our brains, they are always ON – from blinking our eyes to running, our brain commands everything but to do that it needs fuel and this fuel comes from what we eat. It’s like an expensive car, the brain works at its best when it obtains premium fuel.
Can what we eat really impact our mental health? YES! Serotonin is a neuro transmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods and inhibit pain.
In fact, 95% of serotonin is produced in our gastrointestinal tract, which is where our food is digested and absorbed, so the impact is that these neurons can also guide our emotions.
The functions of these neurons is influenced by the billions of “good” bacteria that make up our intestinal microbiome. These bacteria play an essential role in our health and that is why we call our gut our ‘second brain’.
They influence everything in our body from emotions to diseases.
To avoid bad bacteria growth and negative impact in our emotions we must consider what we eat. Foods that can contribute to inflammation should be limited, and priority should be given to consuming whole foods such as:
Lean meats in moderation
Dairy in moderation
Good quality unprocessed oils
Limiting refined foods and sugars is very important as it can have a devastating impact on our health.
Prebiotics and Probiotic foods are extremely important to eat as they provide “food” for our “good” bacteria and they are easy to find and include in our eating habits. Some classic examples of prebiotics and probiotics foods are:
Yogurt (low sugar)
In addition to eating healthy, starting a daily routine to look after YOURSELF is also important. You could try guided meditation, physical exercises and even taking up a new hobby. These are all methods you can do to stop anxiety and tackle feelings of depression.
I know all of this might sound complex but my advice is to start small and gradually improve.
Setting up small goals will do wonders for your sense of achievement and mindfulness!
For more information on this topic and/or any other queries you may have on nutrition, Please do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find me on Instagram at @danillycarvalho
Check out my YouTube channel at Vegan Truths also!