Eat Yourself Sane… But Still Be Crazy, Beautiful, You.

Eat Yourself Sane… But Still Be Crazy, Beautiful, You.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand.

We all crave junk food every now and then, but our bodies and minds will thank us for choosing a ‘healthier’ option.

For those of us who have ever struggled with our weight, we know the all-too-familiar ‘rush’ as the ice-cream/chocolate/lollies/insert-your-guilty-pleasure, hit the spot.

We also know the deflated/defeated feeling that comes once it’s warn off.

So, what do we eat instead?

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for normal brain function and development during all stages of life.

Studies have shown that even when we’re taking anti-depressant medication we still benefit from a daily dose of omega-3’s.

Where do we get them?

Fish Sources

  • Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies

Vegan Sources

  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Canola Oil
  • Purslane (herb)
  • Echium Oil (plant)
  • Hemp Seed Oil

Probiotics

Probiotics are good ‘live’ bacteria. They help balance the good and bad bacteria to keep our bodies working properly. Probiotics help reduce depression, improve heart health, and improve digestive health.

Lactobacillus is the most common probiotic found in yogurt and fermented foods.

Milk Sources

  • Yogurt
  • Traditional Buttermilk
  • Kefir

Vegan Sources

  • Sauerkraut
  • Korean Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Tempeh
  • Kombucha
  • Pickled Vegetables

Whole Grains

Whole grains are an important part of any healthy diet. They contain vitamin B-12 and B-9 (folate/folic acid) – which help maintain and protect our nervous systems, including the brain.

So, to keep your brain healthy make sure you get your daily dose of whole grains.

Gluten Containing Sources

  • Steel cut oats
  • Bulgar

Gluten Free Sources

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown Rice
  • Wild Rice
  • Amaranth
  • Millet

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables are packed full of vitamins – especially vitamin B-6 (folate/folic acid).

Diets low in vitamin B-6 have been linked to depression. In fact, our brain’s response to anti-depressants is lower if we have low levels of vitamin B-6.

‘Serotonin levels have been shown to rise with foods rich in folate’ – Torey Armul RD

Folate Rich Sources

  • Spinach
  • Edamame
  • Artichokes
  • Okra
  • Turnip Greens
  • Lentils
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli

Berries

Not only delicious, but berries are also very good for you. They are rich in flavonoid which helps to regulate mood, improve memory, and reduce inflammation.

Blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants, but all berries are rich in vitamin C which helps lower blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

Best Berries

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Boysenberry

Dark Chocolate

If you can’t say no to chocolate, at least try to go dark.

Dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) gives the brain a boost, improves your immune system, and even your eyesight will thank you.

Caffeine

If you can’t forgo the caffeine completely (and who really wants too?) then practice the rule of everything in moderation.

Caffeine affects everyone differently, so go easy when your decreasing (or increasing) your intake.

For an alternative, try Chai Tea.

Go For A Walk

That’s right. Get your butt outside.

Being outside in the fresh air and sunshine makes us feel alive and invigorated. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll in the garden or a brisk walk around the block, Vitamin D ‘the sunshine vitamin’ is doing its job.

When the sun’s UVB rays hit the cholesterol in our skin cells, vitamin D is made.

Low levels of vitamin D cause:

  • Depression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Cancer
  • Death

Depending on your skin tone, you may need to spend longer in the sun to get your daily optimum does of vitamin D.

The lighter your skin tone, the less amount of time you need in the sun.

Skin TypeSummerWinter (depends on latitude)
   
Moderately Fair Skin    
How Long?  5 – 10 minutes most days7 – 30 minutes most days
Body Area Exposed?  Arms exposedArms exposed
When?Mid-morning (10am) Mid-afternoon (2pm) Avoid peak UV times (11am or 3pm daylight savings time)  Midday
Darker Skin Tones*  
How Long?  15 – 60 minutes most days20 minutes – 3 hours**
Body Area Exposed?  Arms exposedArms exposed
When?  Mid-morning (10am) Mid-afternoon (2pm) Avoid peak UV times (11am or 3pm daylight savings time)  Midday

Source: Vitamin D and Health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: Position Statement 2012. Times are a general guide only, based on averages. Times can vary depending on weather conditions and individual responses and are only relevant for the particular times of day stated and for particular areas of skin exposed (eg: arms or equivalent). Exposure times will vary also depending on the season, skin type and latitude.

* 3-6 times longer exposure times required for darker skin types.

** Wide range due to latitude and darker skin type – greater exposure time is required with darker skin in more southern latitudes.

In Conclusion…

Eating a healthy diet with a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins will help keep you healthy. Throw in a bit of exercise outdoors and you’ll be fit too.

Our mental health is vitally important and should never be overlooked. Talk to your GP if you have any worries in this regard.

Your family needs you.

We need you.

The world needs you.

There is only one of you.

LGxx


The content on this website is for general information purpose only.

By providing the above information, we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before commencing any type of natural, integrative, or conventional treatment we advise you seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner.

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