Midlife Mental Health – Nourish Your Mind & Body

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What we eat can affect our physical and mental health.  Eating a healthy well balanced diet not only provides the energy we need to keep healthy but some foods actually help our ‘mood’. We need to nourish our mind and body for good mental health.

 

Top 5 foods to nourish our mind and body for good Mental Health

Green leafy vegetables

Chocolate

Okay before you go reaching for the chocolate bar you need to read this.  Chocolate is definitely a mood booster and can improve your memory – don’t you just love it?  However, dark chocolate which is 70% or more cacao is the way to go, according to researchers could improve cognitive performance in older people who were experiencing early memory decline.

http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/60/3/794.long

Carbohydrates

Carbs always seem to get a bad wrap and most people think they need to cut them from their diet.  However a well balance diet should contain 50% complex carbohydrates because their main function is to provide energy to the body. Carbohydrates contain the monosaccharide, glucose which is the main fuel for neural function in the brain.

Dark Green Vegetables

Popeye was onto something! Dark, green leafy vegetables such as spinach are high in folate a form of Vitamin B and researchers at Harvard Medical School found that increasing the folate levels in patients suffering depression helped improve their mood.

Salmon and Oily Fish

Salmon and other oily fish contain Omega-3 which is a fatty acid essential for brain function.  The body cannot produce Omega-3s naturally but can be sourced in Salmon and oily fish.  A deficiency in Omega-3 can produce mood swings, depression and impair memory.

Berries

High in antioxidants which support brain function and cognitive function berries are a quick energy and mood booster.

In the next post we look at Relaxation Techniques

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16 thoughts on “Midlife Mental Health – Nourish Your Mind & Body

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Yes it is all about education and people having an open mind Carol. Most people don’t realise that what they eat can affect them in many ways = positively or negatively.

      Reply
  1. Gilly Maddison

    Yes I agree – we are what we eat so it makes perfect sense not to stuff ourselves full of what we don’t want to be! The dark leafy vegetables work like magic for me – I juice tons of organic spinach and I am sure it keeps me really healthy. Can’t get enough of that Chlorophyll!

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      MY PT would love you Gilly! She is into spinach and juicing them each morning with avocado and other goodies she throws in. You sound like you have it all covered.

      Reply
  2. Molly Stevens

    I always feel better when I am paying attention to my diet, Sue. It is so important and along with exercise the magic formula for a healthy life, including cancer prevention. I love that you have given carbs their due as they get a bad rap and are not the enemy. I don’t like how the diet industry demonizes a particular food group periodically. I am a big proponent of eating real food, minimally processed, in modest amounts.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      We are on the same wavelength Molly! I’ve just completed a short Nutrition course and they suggested the same thing. Our diet should be well balanced with all food groups. People think of Carbs and putting on weight but that isn’t the case we need them.

      Reply
  3. Anna R Palmer

    It is always good for me to read about the benefits of a balanced diet. I know how much it helps my mood and energy. Yet so many times I just reach for the chips. This is a great sum up.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Hi Anna, we can all have our chips or ‘treats’ as long as it is in moderation. A general well balanced diet with the occasional treat is really the way to go in my book.

      Reply
  4. Silly Mummy

    I actually really like all of these. I never believed the stuff about avoiding carbs. And it was a well known side effect of things like Atkins that it caused low mood, irritability and problems with concentration to be on low carb, high protein diets. It does upset me that dark chocolate is the healthy stuff though as I like milk chocolate!

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Well you can have milk chocolate occasionally you know! It is all about balance and eating well most of the time with the occasional treat thrown in. I’m lucky dark chocolate is my favourite 🙂

      Reply
  5. Rosemond

    OK, now I feel less guilty to go out and buy some dark chocolate. And I’ve never been one of those who shunned carbs. For me it’s more portion control of my carbs than anything else.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Portion control is important Rosie and yes treat yourself to the Dark chocolate – we all need something sweet in our lives.

      Reply
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