Feel Good Food
How a Nutritious Diet can Boost Your Mood!
The idea that eating a healthy diet will make us healthier people is something the public is well aware of. Consuming a balanced diet of minimally processed, whole foods has been proven to be beneficial in decreasing our risks for high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers. While there are countless important physical health benefits of eating well, there is another side of this lifestyle worth exploring: how eating nutritious food can actually make you a happier person!
The science behind it:
While we often think of the brain as our most important organ, our GI tract is not far behind. The gut is home to billions of important microorganisms and healthy bacteria that have been found to secrete dopamine and serotonin – the same mood boosting neurochemicals produced by the brain! The brain and our gut work together via the vagus nerve, responding to a variety of stimulants- such as the food we eat- in positive and negative ways that can heavily influence our mental health.
Eat more of these feel good foods to make your day, and your digestion, a little brighter.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: These fats are notoriously known for their ability to improve your learning capacity and memory. Omega 3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA can be found in wild cold water fish (salmon, herring, sardines), seaweed, flax seed and walnuts (try our recipe for Grain-Free Power Crackers which uses both flax seeds and walnuts!). Consuming a healthy amount of this nutrient has also shown to reduce symptoms of depression and ADHD!
- Fiber: Foods that are high in fiber keep your blood sugar from spiking. This prevents a shock to your system which can cause nervousness, anxiety, and forgetfulness. By eating fiber-containing foods, you help your body to slowly release the glucose in your blood. This in turns allows us to feel fuller longer and also provides a steady source of energy for our brain and GI tract. Both our ice cream and crisps prevent extreme blood sugar spikes, containing 5 and 3 grams of fiber respectively!
- Protein: This is the macronutrient responsible for building and repairing muscle tissue, cells, enzymes and hormones in the body. Clearly, protein plays a very important role in your health! Making sure you get an adequate amount in your diet through foods like meat, poultry, eggs, beans, quinoa or concentrated powders is essential. If you get enough protein your body has the fuel it needs to produce ample amounts of serotonin, the happy hormone! Serotonin reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety, and improves overall cognitive function. With between 7-9G of protein per serving, ENLIGHTENED crisps and ice cream are the perfect snack to satisfy your appetite and boost your mood!
- Leafy Greens: Foods like spinach, romaine, kale, and swiss chard, are concentrated with nearly all the essential vitamins and minerals people do not commonly consume in their diet. Lack of B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and folic acid are linked to higher incidences of depression, fatigue, and insomnia. Therefore, to feel your best, try enjoying a bountiful salad for lunch! Even better, top it with your favorite flavor of crisps for an easy, flavorful, and healthy lunch or dinner!
What's your favorite healthy recipe? Let us know and be sure to follow us here and on Instagram as we share tips for healthy living and healthy recipes all year long.
Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-healing/201301/healthy-gut-healthy-mind-5-foods-improve-mental-health http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/magazine/can-the-bacteria-in-your-gut-explain-your-mood.html?_r=1 http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/diabetes/diabetes_education/patient_education_material/get_off_the_blood_glucose_rollercoaster.pdf