Have you heard of Sanctus? An inspiring new company based in London who are on a mission to change the perception of mental health and encourage people to becoming mentally fit. They believe as I do that our mental health is the same as our physical health and we can do a lot to gain and maintain good health and fitness in both areas.
I mention them because this post is a padded out version of a reply I posted on their instagram a few months back and I believe in what they're doing and want to take the chance to give them a shout out.
So, onto the 5 simple tips on eating better for mental health. I could write lots of these but for now, here are five more!
1. Transition to a low fat, plant-based diet.
This was a game-changer for me! I started cutting down drastically on the amount of meat, fish, dairy and egg products I was eating and started increasing massively the amount vegetables, greens, fruit and whole foods in general. One of the key points is to keep it low in fat, oils and processed food. You can see more of what I eat by checking out my other blog posts and my instagram :)
Click here to read '5 Ways Going Vegan Helped My Mental Health'
2. Start the day with a fruit juice or a smoothie.
This was one of the first changes I made to my diet and I saw effects within a week or two. Starting my day with a big smoothie or fruit juice really sets me up right. Our brains run mainly off of glucose so getting enough sugar to the brain through whole foods is important for well functioning mental health.
Below is an excerpt from an article recently published which you can read here:
Sugar has benefits for your brain health, says Doctor
“Sugar is vital for your brain health - which is the biggest guzzler of the sweet stuff in your body,” Dr Drew Ramsay... He explains that our brains use up 400 calories of glucose every day, but that doesn’t mean scoffing two chocolate bars is going to give your brainpower a boost.
It’s all about where you get your sugar from. Fructose - the sugar found in many artificial, processed foods - isn’t much use to your body. But natural sugars - those found in honey, maple syrup and fruit, for example - can help boost your brain health.
About a year into my experimenting with a low fat, whole foods, plant based diet I purchased a juicer. Once again, another game-changer! I love making a green juice in the morning. It feels like I've just drunk a glass of vitality and kick started my day. Maybe you think green juice looks or tastes gross, I assure you it doesn't have to! You just have to put enough apples in to sweeten it up!
4. Drink enough water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I am terrible at this.. I never drink enough water. But I'm getting there. My tips for drinking more water would be firstly, to add something to it initially if you don't like the taste and then move onto pure water once you've got used to drinking more. Secondly, just keep a bottle next to you at all times and keep sipping from it – those sips WILL add up! Thirdly, do some exercise as this will get you wanting to drink water and it's also really good for your mental health so you'll have done two things to help your mind!
5. Eat Enough and Don't Go Too Long Without Food
Food is out fuel. It's quite simple. There have been studies done that show that when people don't eat enough, when they aren't getting enough calories, it affects their mental health. So eat well, eat the good whole foods and eat enough. Live a life of abundance not restriction.
A lot of us live lives which are unnaturally busy these days and unfortunately, sitting down to a meal falls further and further down our list of priorities. You don't have time to eat, you go longer without food then you're really starving and that's when you make the worst food choices. Not to mention, your brain goes into meltdown and you're not as ready or able to cope with whatever life throws at you!
It's definitely worth putting in a bit of time sometime in your week to do food prep, think through what meals you're likely to need during the week, do you take lunch to work with you? Will you need a quick meal in the evening between work and the next plan? Just a little bit of forethought can help you make better food decisions and result in you eating on time, eating healthier and eating enough to properly fuel your body and importantly, your brain.
Click here to read '5 Ways to Make Going Vegan Easier'
Click here to follow Plant Based and Positive on Instagram for meal ideas and inspiration