Food is an incredibly powerful tool; it gives us the energy to function, makes us happy and helps us to feel at our best. Many of us have experienced this—it’s why we love a delicious dinner after a long day or find meals out with friends so fun and relaxing.
However, if you’re not careful about what you eat, food can also make you feel low. If you don’t properly nurture your diet or allow yourself to binge eat or indulge in junk food, your mindset will adapt to these habits, which could have negative effects on your overall well-being.
Knowing, loving and actively participating in nutrition-based eating can transform your life. It can help you achieve many different health goals, which will increase your confidence, outlook and overall level of happiness.
Here’s how to make this happen:
Choose the Right Foods
It makes sense the first step to using nutrition to improve your mindset is to find out which foods are best. Nutritional foods are mood-enhancing because they have nutrients that increase serotonin and dopamine production in the brain, which leaves you with that feeling of glowing positivity. But, how does this happen? Or, perhaps more importantly, what types of foods help produce this effect?
With a little bit of insider knowledge about which nutrients have a positive effect on your mood, it’s easy to make your food work for you to help improve your mood.
Some examples of top nutrients to look out for include:
- Omega 3
- B-Complex Vitamins
- Vitamin D
All of the above play significant roles in altering brain chemistry but are surprisingly rare in a generic modern diet. For example, in the British winter, Vitamin D, which we primarily get from the sun, is incredibly hard to procure. Luckily, by planning ahead, you can make sure your diet is fuelling a positive mood.
If you need somewhere to start, these four types of food are packed with these powerful nutrients:
- Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, Watercress) are high in Magnesium.
- Oily Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines) have lots of Omega 3.
- B Vitamins can be found in foods such as legumes, whole grains, nuts and lean meat.
- Animal products are the main source of edible Vitamin D, although there are many cereals and other products that are Vitamin D fortified.
Feed Off Your Good Decisions
The most common misconception about focusing on a nutritious lifestyle is that the changes are solely inspired by the food you eat. Actually, there are numerous levels involved in the transformation that occurs via healthy eating. You can find endless research on the positive feedback loop that happens once you start to take control of your life.
Consciously making informed decisions about what you eat will automatically transform your mindset. Take advantage of this to put your energy towards adapting other healthy habits or making other positive changes in your life.
How do I do this?
One way to do this is to emphasize the importance of mealtimes. If you simply grab a sandwich on the go or stick a pizza in the oven when you get home, you will have missed a crucial opportunity to nourish both your mind and body. Know your nutrition and know what you’re putting in your stomach so that mealtimes can stop being a rushed nuisance and instead become a valuable time for rejuvenation.
This combination of good decisions will have a dramatic effect on your mindset.
Embrace the Healthy Lifestyle
Focusing on nutrition changes does so much more than just provide you with the right nutrients—it revolutionizes your entire lifestyle. Once you’ve started eating for your own well-being, doors soon open to a world that is positive, motivated, active and healthy! You can join classes and link up with bloggers online. Or, you can edit your TV time to include inspiring and healthy food documentaries.
For example, Netflix is awash with interesting and motivating films on healthy eating. If you run out of content there, BBC iPlayer has a playlist dedicated to food, which you can access from the US or elsewhere by using additional software on your device.
Over time, these decisions will cease to be decisions, and you will instead start to naturally opt for healthy restaurants, have more energy to go to the gym and be open to making like-minded friends to support you.
Many view nutrition-based eating as an easy way to eat better, but in reality, it’s an entire lifestyle change. No matter your mindset or day-to-day lifestyle, investing in these kinds of food habits will change your world in ways you would have never imagined.
Simply start your own investigation into nutrition and watch as it snowballs into an entirely new way of thinking and living packed with positivity, vitality and enthusiasm.
Caroline is a blogger at eHealth.com and a firm believer in holistic well-being. She lives by the phrase ‘healthy mind, healthy body’ and is constantly encouraging her friends and colleagues to meet their health goals. She is an strong advocate for nutritional eating and blogs regularly about the topic.