There’s plenty of evidence to show that food and wellbeing are closely linked. In fact, studies show that up to 90% of serotonin, or the “happy chemical” as it’s sometimes known, is produced in the gut.
Nutritional therapist, Clarissa Lenherr, says a good diet is crucial for maintaining our physical and mental health. As well as improving our gut health and blood sugar levels, getting the right balance of nutrients is important for our mood. The best way to improve our diets are by minimising the amount of processed foods we eat and keeping natural food choices varied and colourful. However, when we’re busy, eating well can sometimes fall by the wayside.
Luckily, fueling your body in the right way doesn’t have to be complicated as we are led to believe.
Here are five ideas to help you:
- To maintain good, consistent energy levels throughout the day, aim for three main balanced whole meals. Every meal should include good complex carbs, good quality fats and a good amount of protein. Choose natural foods and cook from scratch as much as possible.
- The vitamins and minerals that most Britons are deficient in are B vitamins (in particular B12), D vitamins, magnesium and iron. These can be found in meat, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, fruit and vegetables.
- Don’t forget to stay hydrated! With our bodies made up of around 60% water, it is essential to keep ourselves hydrated with at least 2 litres of water throughout the day.
- Planning and preparation is everything. If you can batch cook some healthy meals and snacks, you’ll always have good food available in your fridge and freezer. It means you’ll be less tempted to splurge on cakes and biscuits.
- We all have our guilty pleasures. Rather than denying ourselves completely, try sticking to the 80/20 rule, where you eat a balanced diet 80% of the time and still allow room for treats.
If you’re making changes to your diet for weight or health related reasons, it’s important to be kind to yourself. If you’ve been overdoing the sugary snacks, don’t beat yourself up. Try to take some time out and stock up on healthy alternatives for next week. Yes, consistency is important, but there’s always tomorrow!
For a longer read that covers the basics of nutrition, click here.