Healthy Eating Week
Healthy Eating Week 13th June2022 – 17th June 2022
Happy Monday everyone, I hope this week finds you well. The British Nutrition Foundation are encouraging us this week to take a look at our diets. There will be a different topic for each day. This got me thinking, how does the food we eat affect us mentally? So along with a few little tips I’ve researched to help us eat healthier, stay hydrated and waste less I thought it would be good to look into a little bit more depth as to why it is so important for us physically and mentally. If anyone has medical problems that could prevent them following these guidelines, consult with a doctor first.
Today’s topic is Focus on fibre – for meals and snacks.
Fibre is such an important part of our diet. It helps to maintain our gut health, normalizes bowel movements, lowers bad cholesterol levels and many many more things. There are so many ways we can increase the amount of fibre we are having, and some are very simple swaps we
can make in daily life, for example using whole grain products like wholegrain breads and pastas. Snacks like vegetable sticks or a piece of fruit are great ways to increase our fibre. If the thought of giving up our normal snacks isn’t appealing to you, did you know that dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) has a high percentage of dietary fibre? Popcorn is also a good source of fibre as long as too much salt and sugar has been added to it. This was great news for me because while I really love vegetables, the thought of eating celery and carrots sticks for the rest of my snacking life did leave a lot to be desired.
The Happier the gut, the happier the mind.
So, with the basics covered, we know what it is and how to get more, but, why is it important for our mental health? I got out my trusty laptop and did some research so that you don’t need to. Studies suggest that a high fibre diet can potentially lower inflammation. With inflammation there is pain present. I’m sure we can agree that when in pain we are not really our happiest. So the result of the lower inflammation is that symptoms of depression were reduced. Another study I found noticed a significant reduction in anxiety and high psychological distress. The gut can send signals to our brain when it’s troubled. Who would have thought that fibre could be so important for our mind? Basically, the happier the gut, the happier the mind. I know this to be true from personal health issues.
I hope this short piece has helped a little. Stay tuned for tomorrow, I have some great info on why getting our 5 a day really helps our mental health. Stay safe everyone