Is your brain a product of what you eat? Is it really a big deal that we start our day with a doughnut and coffee in the morning rather
than a bowl of oatmeal and berries? I would argue (and so would a large number of competent researchers) that diet most certainly has an impact on how you feel and how we react to stress. There are many things we do to our bodies everyday that may affect our moods. Not getting enough sleep, little exercise or having an extra hard day at work can all wreak havoc on how we feel come nighttime. Some things are out of our control, but the choices we make around food are very much in our power. Here are some things that stand in our way of feeling great and three key things we can do right now to help us feel better everyday.
Culprit #1 We Think Carbs Are Bad For Us
Solution: Carbs, the evil sibling to the all powerful protein, have gotten a very bad rap. Now, I am not talking about sugar and processed sweets, like that muffin from Dunkin Donuts. I am talking about complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa and barley. Carbs do a great job of helping to raise serotonin, the feel good hormone that makes our brains calm and serene. Sugary carbs boost you up and them make you crash down quick – not a good cycle to be in. Whole grains, with all their nutrients and fiber, give you a slow and steady rise and leave your brain feeling good all day. Start your morning with a bowl of whole grain oatmeal, topped with blueberries and almonds.
Culprit #2 – You Rarely Eat Any Foods With Omega-3’s
Solution: Here’s another food that has gotten a bad rap – fats. The old saying “fat makes you fat” has gone out the window a long time ago. But I am not talking about potato chips, French fries and fried dough from the local carnival. While we definitely want to stay away from trans fats and saturated fats, we need to welcome Omega -3 fats with open arms. Omegas-3’s work with your brain to alleviate depression and anxiety. In this country we are sorely lacking in this important nutrient. Omega-3’s come from fatty fish like salmon or sardines. They also are in abundance in flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts (click HERE to read my post on these amazing seeds). If you don’t like fish, nuts or seeds, you can always take a supplement but make sure it is high in EPA and DHA, the important building blocks of Omega 3’s.
Culprit #3 Overall, We Neglect Important Nutrients
Solution: My daily diet includes these important foods everyday: leafy greens, beans, almonds, flax seeds, citrus fruits, 100% whole grains such as quinoa and fatty fish like salmon. If your diet includes more croissants for breakfast, a ham sandwich on white bread and a diet Coke for lunch, or a hamburger, ice cream and Dorito’s for dinner, you might want to consider seriously changing your diet. When we neglect to nourish our bodies with good, whole foods we are essentially starving our brains. Junk food diets lead to a lack of nutrient deficiencies and ultimately lead to fatigue, depression and undue stress on our bodies. We all need whole foods to provide us with high quality protein, B vitamins, and phytonutrients only found in plant foods. Click HERE to learn more about how to plan a perfectly balanced meal.
Now I would love to hear from you! Do you think what you eat affects how you feel mentally and emotionally? Has it inspired you to make changes to your diet? Let me know in the comments below.
To learn more about how food affects your mood and making the best choices for you, email Heather to see how you can improve your health and life through the power of whole foods. Your brain will thank you!
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