They say a healthy diet leads not only to a strong body but also a sound mind. However, it isn’t always about what we eat. Our eating habits can also be a significant factor in our overall well-being. Such can all improve or impair our physical and mental health.
There are some days where we’re so busy that we forgo eating to meet all our commitments and deadlines. However, skipping meals has more effects on our body, aside from making us hungry.
When we don’t eat regularly, our blood sugar levels will dip below average. The lack of glucose causes us to feel tired, irritable, and confused. Our brains cannot function at 100% when we lack food.
The metabolism also slows down when we don’t eat. This effect can then lead to weight gain and make it difficult to shed the extra pounds.
Out of all the meals, missing out on breakfast is the most costly. After a long night without food, our body needs breakfast to jumpstart the day. Not only that, it produces the energy necessary for the work you need to accomplish, but it also builds up momentum for the metabolism.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
We know how much people love their Cup of Joe. It’s a staple for many during breakfast as well as during the afternoon when they’re on their breaks. The caffeine content gives us boosts of energy throughout the day, makes us more alert, and raises our mood.
However, caffeine can also harm our mental well-being. When consuming high doses, we may experience feelings of anxiety and insomnia. It can likewise have adverse effects on our body, causing migraines, high blood pressure, acid reflux, and digestive issues.
To avoid these adverse effects, we should limit how much caffeine we have per day. Limit your coffee intake to about three cups of coffee at the maximum. Likewise, be mindful of other drinks and food that contain the substance, such as chocolate and tea.
Don’t Forget To Drink Water
In almost any health-related situation, increasing our water intake seems to be a staple in doctor’s recommendations. However, this advice is warranted. Never forget that our body mostly comprises of water, and thus, we need fluids to function.
We may not notice it, but many of us are already dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and constipation. It can also cause further complications in the long-run such as kidney failure, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Likewise, it can affect our mental well-being by causing irritability and grumpiness and hindering concentration.
Eat With Your Gut In Mind
When it comes to food, you should also listen to your gut. Researches show that our gut has something to do with our mental health. These findings should be unsurprising, given that this part of our body is where the majority of serotonin comes from internally.
Inside our stomach, there are both good and bad bacteria, which may cause an imbalance. High-fat and high-sugar diets can lead to this inequity, thereby affecting our mood. An imbalanced microbiome can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, lethargy, irritability, and reduced cognitive function.
Take care of yourself by eating friendly foods such as vegetables, yogurt, pulses, fruits, and whole grains.
Get The Right Nutrients
When we lack the necessary vitamins and minerals, we become malnourished and sickly. Deficiencies in specific nutrients can negatively impact our mood significantly. Specifically, these nutrients are involved in the production of serotonin in our bodies.
The first is vitamin D. Sources for it includes egg yolks, mushrooms, and fatty fish. We sometimes call it the “sunshine vitamin” because sunlight can boost its production. The second is omega-3 fatty acids. You can find such in walnuts, chia seeds, salmon, tuna, and canola oil. The third is zinc, which you can source from red meat, eggs, liver, and dairy.
The last is folate, which studies associate with lower risks of developing depression. Get your fill from leafy greens such as kale and spinach, beans, fruits, and nuts.
It may be necessary or helpful for some to take supplements if their diet cannot provide them with adequate nutrients.
We all know the common saying, “we are what we eat.” But we are also the eating habits we practice. The things we follow can either improve or impair both our physical and mental well-being.
Skipping meals can lead to an unstable mood that fluctuates between ups and downs. Caffeine in coffee and other products can either boost or cause irritability and anxiety depending on the amount of consumption. Dehydration can impair our body and brain’s ability to function throughout the day. An imbalanced diet can affect our gut, where we get most of our serotonin. Lastly, the lack of nutrients can also hinder the production of serotonin.
For healthy food habits, eat regularly, and increase your fluid intake. Be mindful of how much caffeine you have each day. Limit your cups of coffee or tea, and pieces of chocolate or find decaffeinated alternatives. Eat gut-friendly food and consider taking vitamin supplements to ensure that you have all the necessary nutrients you need.