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March is National Nutrition Month

You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” It rings true regardless of your age or weight. Eating right and having good nutrition is essential for a healthy mind and body because what you eat impacts energy levels, mood, overall health, and mental well-being.

Food and your mood

Having a healthy and well-balanced diet helps keep you alert, positive, and clear-minded. According to Sutter Health, sugar and processed foods can lead to inflammation throughout the body and brain, which may contribute to mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. 

When we’re feeling stressed or depressed, it’s often processed foods we reach for in search of a quick pick-me-up. During busy or difficult periods, a cup of coffee stands in for a complete breakfast, and fresh fruits and vegetables are replaced with high-fat, high-calorie fast foods. By having healthy snacks on hand, you can combat these traps and keep your mind clear and brain happy.

Food and your health

Nutritionist Resource shares that the link between our gut health and our mental health is becoming even clearer. Often dubbed the “second brain,” our digestive system produces over 90% of all serotonin (the “happy” hormone) in our body. Our gut can also affect immunity and resilience to stress, both of which influence our mood.

Poor nutrition can impact not only how your body processes food but also impacts your dental health, heart and blood health, and mind. A lack of nutrients impacts every bodily function, and poor eating habits can lead to depression, isolation, and a decline in mental health.

Improving your nutrition

A few common tips to help improve your nutrition include educating yourself on the types of food that boost your immune system, increasing your water intake to help keep your body hydrated, and planning meals in advance so you can combat urges with quick, nutritious meals. Remember, good nutrition feeds your body, mind, and mental well-being. You’re worth it.

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