How healthy eating could kickstart your mental wellness
Brussels sprouts are having a moment. The once-despised vegetable is catapulting in popularity at all of your favorite brunch spots (usually deep fried to the perfect crispiness). The extra good news: eating more fruits and vegetables is good not only for your body, but for your mind, too. According to a study by the American Public Health Association, increased fruit and vegetables in people’s diets also increased their happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being.
Getting enough fruits and vegetables can be a great first step to jump-start your mental wellness. If you’re looking to dive in even further, look to incorporate specific mood-boosting foods into your diet. Foods like leafy greens and citrus are packed with vitamin B, a proven mood-booster.
Self-care is about consistent ways to prioritize yourself and your mental wellness. With eating right, consistency is key. Studies show that the mental wellness benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables could last two years. So, no crash diets—it’s all about lifestyle change and an investment in your future.
Ready to feed your mind and your body? Here are some tips to try:
Start with a balanced meals: vegetables, protein, and a carb. Give asparagus a try. If you’re looking to include a vegetable at your next dinner party. Asparagus is one of the top plant-based sources of tryptophan and is known to boost serotonin levels.
Get prepared. Find it hard to regularly cook healthy, well-balanced meals? Meal prep is a great way to get all the good stuff in the time of your microwave burrito. Check out food blogs like Workweek Lunch for tips and tricks to maximize your time and eat your favorite healthy foods.
Start your mornings with breakfast. Your brain and your body need fuel to run their best. A 2018 study found that young people who ate a good, well-balanced breakfast showed lower levels of stress and depression than those who unhealthy breakfasts or skipped the meal altogether. No need to go all out here—try stocking up on your favorite protein bars, running out the door with a smoothie, or start your morning with some scrambled eggs!
Skip the sweets (sometimes!). According to Harvard Health, a 2014 study found an association between depression and diets high in sugar, refined grains, and red meats. Of course, that does not mean cutting them out entirely. Have your cake and eat it too… in moderation.
Make sure you are checking in with your body. Practice mindful eating practices like listening to your body, checking in with your levels of fullness, and honoring your cravings.