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The Link Between Food + Mental Health

Food can have so many different meanings across cultures, traditions, families, countries, or within friend groups. We receive soooo much information on what, how, and when to eat; how it should look like, what we should look like. These messages associated with food can be detrimental to our overall well-being.

Let's think of the basics: Food represents nourishment and growth. We need food in order to continue to survive and thrive, just as our ancestors did. So how do we approach what we put into our bodies as something that is going to heal us vs. harm us?

When you are chronically stressed, your body depletes itself of proper nutrients, your blood sugars are out of whack, you may experience dizziness, anxiety, panic, confusion, or shakiness. Many of these symptoms get mistaken as strictly medical, but there is a direct link with the mental health side of things too! If you are always consuming foods high in sugar and experience frequent anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or panic attacks it may be time to stop and take a closer look at how the foods you are consuming are directly linked to your mental health symptoms and presentation.

Here are some tips to follow when it comes to the building blocks of mental wellness + nutrition:

Nourish the first brain (aka your actual brain)

Eat good, healthy fats because your brain is made up of 60% of fat!

✨Nourish the second brain (aka your gut)

Include fiber + fermented foods into your diet.

✨Practice mindfulness

Don't eat when stressed. Slow down. Chew slowly. Notice when your body is alerting you that you are actually hungry.

✨Notice the symptoms

Reflect - is this an emotion coming up for me right now that's connected to how I feel or am I truly hungry? Also think about that headache you may get - what did you eat before your head started to hurt? How often are these headaches happening? Is there a link between what you are eating the symptoms?

✨Integrative behavioral change strategies

Talking through your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be KEY in changing attitudes and habits surrounding food and symptoms experienced.

✨Read the labels

So important! Read what products you buy have in them as additives can impact hormones and other allergens.

✨Eat the rainbow

Consume nutrient-dense foods that are the color of the rainbow!

Want to learn more about food sensitivities and nutrition? Visit our friends over at Nutrition + Whole Health Solutions.

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