We all know that eating well is good for our bodies. But did you know that the way we eat, and even the types of food we choose, can have an impact on our mental health? That’s right—food can fuel your soul. Here are my tips for fueling yourself over the holidays so that your brain stays happy, healthy, and ready to take on whatever life throws at it:
The brain and gut are connected
You might be familiar with the gut-brain axis, which is a term coined by research scientist Dr. Michael Gershon to describe the connection between your stomach and brain. The vagus nerve, which runs from your brain through your body, is one of the major pathways that connect these two organs. This means that what you eat can affect both of them—and vice versa.
The gut-brain axis has been linked to everything from mental health issues like anxiety and depression to obesity, heart disease, and even autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some researchers believe that it’s even possible for what you eat to affect how well you sleep at night!
One important thing to note here is that this connection isn’t just psychological: It also involves our immune system and microbiome (the microbes in our guts). In other words? How we feel physically matters too!
Eating good over the holidays
The holiday season is a time for good food, family, and friends. It’s also a time for reflection, but sometimes it can be difficult to get in the mindset of reflection when you’re surrounded by delicious cookies and pie. During the holidays, we want to eat good food that nourishes our bodies as well as our souls.
We all know how important it is to eat healthy foods for our minds and body. However, what about those days when you just want some chocolate cake? Or maybe even something sweet paired with an ice-cold beer? Well first off let me say that there are no rules during this time of year! But if you find yourself eating more than usual during this season I would recommend adding extra physical activity such as walking or running outside if possible (if not then go for a brisk walk around your neighborhood). This will help offset some of those extra calories being consumed while helping ward off any potential weight gain during this festive period!
Eat for your best mental health.
When you’re feeling down, it’s tempting to reach for junk food. There’s nothing wrong with that—but if you want to eat for your best mental health, consider filling up on more wholesome foods instead.
Here are some of the benefits of eating in a way that fuels the soul:
- You’ll feel better. The right food can help lift your mood and boost energy levels so you can focus on what matters most. When it comes to weight loss, eating well is an important part of any diet plan because it helps keep hunger at bay while also increasing feelings of fullness (1).
- You’ll get more nutrients. Eating a balanced diet means getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly (2). Plus, certain foods contain natural compounds called phytonutrients that protect against disease while also improving heart health (3).
- You’ll support brain health from infancy through old age.*
We’re happy to help you avoid the holiday stress and get you on the road to a healthy, happy new year. So go ahead and eat for your mental health, because it’s just as important as any other aspect of well-being! Check with someone who studies this work if you are interested to learn more!