Just like exercise, eating well is important to remain physically healthy, but it’s important for your mental health as well. You can help your overall well-being by eating the right foods to keep your brain focused, energized, and healthy.
Here are some tips for healthy eating:
Limit caffeine and sugar
Caffeine makes the body feel energized, but it can also make you feel wound up and anxious, making stressful situations worse. Foods that are high in sugar can actually mess with the neurotransmitters in the brain that help keep us emotionally stable. Excessive amounts of sugar can cause you to “crash,” leading to irritability, mood swings, and fatigue. When your blood sugar lowers back down, you may feel anxious or depressed.
Don’t eat to reduce stress
Eating the right foods can help relieve stress, but you should eat because you are hungry, not because you are stressed. When we are stressed, we tend to seek comfort in food, but the problem is the foods we want are usually not healthy. Eating because you are stressed may result in binging on junk food in hopes to feel better. Afterward, you may feel more guilty and stressed. In addition to food, do not drink alcohol when you are stressed. This creates an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and will make you feel worse in the long run, not to mention quite dangerous if you take certain medications. Drinking on special occasions can be fine, but using alcohol as a solution to your problems is damaging to your mental and physical health.
Learn certain qualities in foods and incorporate them into your daily diet
Lean protein gives you sufficient energy and focus for your day. Good sources of protein include chicken, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. Fatty acids can improve memory, learning, and abstract thinking. Fatty acids are in fish, seeds, nuts, and beans. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, and they can even help boost chemicals in the brain such as serotonin.
By eating a variety of healthy foods, your body can get the nutrients it needs to improve physical health and mental functioning. You don’t need to restrict yourself to only clean eating, but making an effort to have a balanced diet is very helpful. Eating junk food in moderation won’t kill you, but eating healthy will make you feel better overall.