How to eat for Mental Health –
How to eat to stay positive – lately with all the events surrounding us on ‘mental health’ and how it gets the better of us, we fail to connect the dots between how food can be the foundation on which a lot of ‘mental health’ issues actually are given seeds to fructify be it positively or negatively. Believe it or not, but you can eat your way out of depression So, here’s a snippet on what you should be doing to help yourselves along on a ‘food-front’; and decreasing toxicity.
- Stop dependency on medication (Especially anti-depressants, unless absolutely needed); look for alternatives Bach flower remedies or homeopathy. These systems of medication work things differently, and don’t mess things up in your head. Even if you are on them, then try weaning yourself off slowly or make an effort to do so.
- Eliminate: Sugar (refined carbohydrates anything made with maida), coffee, alcohol, anything caffeinated, tonic water, colas, diet drinks (most times these become a ‘go to’ albeit the comfort sought from them is temporary only to fuel more anxiety later on.
- The energy of dairy and dairy products (except ghee) makes for sticky thoughts; as that’s literally what dairy does, stick to your tissues (causing inflammation in brain tissue as well); you will benefit a lot by stopping dairy consumption.
- Anything with food additives or food colours which can trigger anxiety-prone reactions
- Decrease intake of red meats, energetically known to promote heat and negative thought processes or cured meats.
Foods to include for Mental Health –
The one thing you can do almost immediately is start stabilizing your sugars; by this I mean lay the foundation for sustained glucose for the brain. Also, firing the neurotransmitters: namely SEROTONIN (feel good hormone). Her is a handy list of 10 things you could do –
- Eat a whole grain and CHEW it like a brown rice or a millet (foundation to build your entire day)
- Add vegetables, and if you are in a ‘low’ state then take it up to ten cups a day (could do 50% raw and 50% cooked that’s if you can digest raw); include starchy vegetables (unless overweight) then do non-starchy vegetables
- Eat to feed the liver, which may be sluggish at this time – a barley shot would help, as barley is the food for the liver
- Add probiotics, via fermented foods (give the gut bugs a boost) remember 95% of serotonin is made in the gut and add prebiotics as well
- Use our Indian spices like turmeric (anti-inflammatory) will help with brain inflammation and, black pepper (kali miri), fenugreek (methi), chilli powder (lal mirchi), cumin seeds (jeera); cinnamon (dalchini) balances out the sugar levels.
- Eat protein (preferably plant-based)
- Consume healthy fats
- Eat Fiber from your whole grains, vegetables, lentils/legumes, seeds/nuts and fruit – feed those gut bacteria
- Hydrate – rest and sleep
- Sweat it out – MOVE
The difference between feeling anxious and getting stressed about it; are 2 different thought processes. First, ‘ACCEPT’ you are anxious. Second, as Pema Chodron (Buddhist Monk) says ‘DON’T ITCH’ that is don’t get involved with it by giving into the anxiousness, by acting out. Whether it’s reaching for sugar, a cup of coffee, alcohol or getting more stressed and nervous.
Things go wrong when we get wrapped up in emotional responses to our anxiousness making things worse. If you say ‘I feel anger in this moment’ and accept it chances are you’ll transcend it by observing yourself. I know it sounds simplistic; but try it once.