As a culture, we have come to define “healthy,” as thin, strong and young. The problem with this definition is it is limited to physical health, and ignores the fact that many people that share our planet are older, more robusk in shape and maybe not so strong. But, these attributes do not make someone unworthy of the “healthy” title.
A better definition for health would include physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
Health and Wellness Through Food
Food has been the subject of many get-togethers. Psychologically speaking, eating together builds healthy relationships, connects us socially and emotionally and benefits every aspect of your well-being. Bonding over the dinner plate is as important, as what is on the plate.
Nutritious food is the cornerstone for wellness. We all know the benefits of eating healthy for our body, but there is mounting evidence that food is a powerful tool for mental wellness.
Unhealthy food choices not only lead to disease and obesity, it is linked to mental illness, which is the top cause for disability in the world. Eating food high in calories, highly processed and low in nutrients are harmful for the brain and contribute to worsening of symptoms from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Fast food has become a popular mainstay in the American diet. These foods, that are high in carbs, sugar and calories, are harmful to the brain by decreasing neurotransmitter capacity resulting in higher stress and lower ability to cope with that stress.
There are many risks associated with poor nutrition, including:
High Blood Pressure
Heart disease and Stroke
Anxiety and Depression
The brain works 24|7 taking care of you; breathing, heartbeat, senses, movement and the millions of thoughts that run through your mind. The brain works best when it is given the proper fuel to do its work, simply stated, what you eat affects the functionality of your brain.
So, What Should I Eat?
There is not a fix all for every body; there is not a specific diet or exercise routine that is a perfect match for every single person. But, research has shown that a diet that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and probiotics will keep your brain and your body functioning at your optimum! Here is a small list of foods that you can introduce that have proven to be brain and body beneficial;
Fruits Apples Apricots Avocados Bananas Berries Cherries Cranberries Dates Figs Grapes Kiwis Lemons & Limes Mangoes Melons Oranges & Tangerines Papayas Pears Pomegranates Vegetables Artichokes Asparagus Celery Cruciferous Vegetables Cucumbers Leafy Greens Onions Radishes Sprouts & Microgreens Sweet Potatoes Herbs and Spices Aromatic Herbs Cat’s Claw Cilantro Garlic Ginger Lemon Balm Licorice Root Parsley Raspberry Leaf Turmeric
Aloe Vera Atlantic Sea Vegetables Burdock Root Raw Honey
Start paying attention to how eating different foods makes you feel — not just in the moment, but the following days. Start taking note on your sleep patterns, and energy levels. And remember, optimum health is mental and physical!
You can do this!