Health and Wellness |

Food and your mood – getting the right nutrition to improve your mental health

April 2, 2020
two people making a healthy salad

What we put into our bodies has a big effect on our minds. Did you know that eating well can give you more energy, help you sleep and sharpen your focus? And as we age, extending our focus beyond our physical health to include our mental health will help improve our overall wellbeing.

A few simple changes to what you eat can make a real difference to your mental health and wellbeing. Get to know how food influences your mood, and some easy ways build up healthy habits.

Experts are learning that nutrition and mental wellbeing are closely linked. For instance, if you’ve been feeling low or lethargic, eating more healthily could give you more energy. This is a new and exciting area of research with two recent studies found that people who ate a healthier diet improved their depression symptoms more than people who focused on only social support [1]. And with mental health disorders facing more and more older Australians, now is the time to choose healthy food choices to compliment your social support program.

One easy way to sharpen your mind throughout the day is to eat a decent breakfast in the morning, like fruit with muesli or avo and egg on wholemeal toast.

Healthy breakfast with yoghurt, muesli and berries

Small changes can make a huge difference

But we don’t have to change all our habits overnight, or “cut out” everything we like. Start small with adding extra veggies to your dinner, or even substitute a snack for fruit and nuts. And try substituting red meat for fish- rich in Omega-3! These little changes will add up and you will soon notice how you feel. [2]

Get to know the rainbow

Think about making your meals more colourful by adding a bit more colour from different types of fruit and vegetables. Rich in vitamins and minerals foods like blueberries, mangoes, leafy greens, nuts and legumes will offer the perfect boost to your meals.

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself as we all like to have a treat from time to time. The key is to understand your mood and how you are feeling when you overindulge.



[1] source 1

[2] source 2

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