Diet is one of the most powerful and modifiable interventions we have for overall physical and mental health. Your brain works optimally when nourished with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the food you eat. Food is information that can regulate every cell in our body in real time. This means that the food you eat really does matter. Did you know that approximately 95% of your Serotonin, the neurotransmitter targeted in the treatment of depression and anxiety is made in your gastrointestinal tract. Eating a healthy diet rich in a rainbow of vegetables and healthy proteins keeps your digestive tract happy and healthy and in turn reduces the risk of physical and mental dis-ease.
Not getting enough sleep is associated with a higher risk of chronic disease, depression, and obesity. Top tips for good sleep:
Establish a regular bedtime and wake time
Follow an evening ritual, consider gentle stretching or meditating an hour before bedtime
Create a dark, cool, quiet environment free of electronics and TV
Invest in a good mattress and bedding
Avoid eating before bed
Exercise daily but avoid 2-4 hours before bedtime
Water is good for both mental and physical health..it cleanses our body and soul. Even mild dehydration can affect your mood, energy level, and ability to concentrate. Water is needed to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit signals between brain cells and hormones that control the processes of the body and brain. Adequate daily intake can improve circulation, help aid in the digestive process, improve physical performance, help lubricate your joints, and is utilized in every bodily function.
You already know exercise is good for your physical body but did you know that it can also improve your mental health? Exercise can help boost your mood, decrease anxiety, and help you sleep better! Regular exercise can give you a peaceful feeling of well-being. Research shows regular exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressants...and without the side effects. Exercise can help decrease anxiety by releasing endogenous endorphins, and other 'feel good' chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endocannabinoids...all natural and effective anti-anxiety and mood lifting treatments.
Stress management is the process of identifying, understanding, and taking control of stressors in one's life. Here are some strategies that can be helpful in managing stress:
Exercise: Physical activity can help relieve stress and improve overall physical and mental well-being
Mindfulness and Meditation: Helps you stay in the present moment
Time Management: Prioritizing tasks, setting realistic goals, and delegating responsibilities
Good Sleep Habits: Getting enough quality sleep can help improve your mood, energy levels, and ability to manage stress
Healthy Eating: Eat a balanced diet, avoid caffeine and sugar, and stay hydrated
Social Support: Spending time with family and friends, joining a support group, or talking to a therapist
Relaxation Techniques: Deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, and progressive muscle relaxation are a few examples, but anything that helps you relax will do
Limit alcohol and substance use: While alcohol and drugs may provide temporary relief, they can actually increase stress levels in the long run
While a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and essential proteins is important for both physical and mental health, there are some nutritional supplements that may have a positive impact on mood and cognitive function.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These are essential fatty acids that are important for brain function and can help improve mood and cognitive function.
B-complex vitamins: B vitamins, especially B12 and folate, play a role in brain function and can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Vitamin D: Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression, and supplementation with vitamin D has been shown to improve mood in some people.
Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in several important physiological processes, including the regulation of mood, and low levels of magnesium have been linked to depression and anxiety.
Probiotics: Some research has suggested that the gut microbiome may play a role in mental health, and that probiotics may help improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.