There is a huge focus now on how we can look after our mental health, and a large part of this includes looking after our dietary intake and trying to have as healthy a relationship with food as possible. What we eat can have an impact on our mental wellbeing, so knowing what we should be putting into our bodies can help keep us feeling good; in both body and mind.
Health Nutritionist and Physiologist Polly Smith explores the link between our diet and our thoughts and feelings, as well as how to remove any notion of ‘bad foods’ and instead develop a healthy relationship with food where there’s no unnecessary labelling.
Vitamins and Minerals
When you don’t eat a diet that is full of nutrient-dense foods you may become deficient in vital vitamins and minerals which can leave you with low mood, excessive levels of fatigue and reduced cognitive function (1).
To ensure you are getting as many essential vitamins and minerals in your diet you should look to consume at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Some important vitamins and minerals include vitamin B6 which is found in spinach, bananas, avocados and chickpeas, and can increase serotonin levels in the body, helping us to feel happier.
Eating regularly is important for focus, mood and cognitive function. If you do not eat regularly your blood sugar may drop leaving you feeling tired, irritable and unable to concentrate.
It is important to eat regularly and choose foods which release energy slowly to keep your blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day. Good foods for this include:
- wholegrains and brown rice
- sweet potatoes
- rye bread
- pulses and legumes
- fruits and vegetables.