Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep and exercising regularly is good for both your physical and mental health, but what about the role of food and the impact it can have on our moods and emotional wellbeing?
The latest research is showing us that healthy eating not only keeps your body healthy, but your mind too! It has been linked to improved sleep, improved cognitive brain function including concentration, memory and mood regulation as well as reducing the risk of depression and other mental disorders.
According to the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, foods that get a special mention are:
Oily fish (salmon, sardines, tuna)
Berries (especially blueberries)
Wholegrains (brown rice, oatmeal, wholemeal breads, barley, buckwheat)
Nuts (especially walnuts)
Leafy greens (spinach, rocket, silver beet)
Beans (chickpeas, legumes)
Healthy fats from oily fish, nuts (especially walnuts), avocados, seeds and olives.
Signs you may need more brain health-boosting foods are:
Fatigue and low energy
Fluctuations in your mood
Anxiety and depression
So as social activities ramp up in what is traditionally a festive month, remember the importance of fuelling your brain, and include some of the nutrient boosting foods when you’re asked to “bring a plate.”
Some healthy platter ideas may include:
Fruit and nut platter
Cheese platter with chopped carrots, celery and capsicum
A summer yoghurt and granola mix with fresh berries
Freshly made guacamole with lime and oil (and maybe even some tomatoes)
Chickpea salad with some organic leafy greens like spinach and beans, and veggies.
Remember - keeping your body healthy also keeps your mind sharp!
More references can be found here: