Wellbeing isn’t just about thinking happy thoughts, getting enough sleep, healthy eating and going to the gym. In all there are four pillars that contribute to our overall wellbeing and they all been to balance.

In today’s blog post we are looking at just one small part – healthy eating. 

You are what you eat…

We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat” but research shows that it’s true. What we eat, and drink, can affect not just our physical health but our mental health too.

Have you ever stopped to consider the effect your eating habits have on your mental health? We all know the dangers of drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, but can eating healthy improve your overall mood? Research has shown it can.

Studies have shown eating a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in vegetables, fish, nuts and olive oil, can lead to a reduction in depression. Add to this an increase in your water intake and a reduction in alcohol consumption and you are heading in the right direction.

Improve your habits

Cooking from scratch and reducing the amount of junk and processed foods is the best way to improve out eating habits. Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to cook three meals a day for you and your family. While this will go a long way to improving your diet, I would recommend you start with knowing what you should and shouldn’t be eating.

The Change4Life website is a fantastic resource to help your family be healthier and happier. You can also find out more on the NHS EatWell website.

Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake isn’t hard either and it doesn’t have to mean reaching for the carrot sticks every day. There are lots of easy ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables into your daily meals without forcing down handfuls of kale. 

Here are a few of my favourites: 

  • Adding a handful of berries to your cereal or porridge at breakfast, or slicing a banana on your toast instead of jam.
  • Smoothies and soup are another great way to add more fruit and vegetables to your daily diet. There are plenty of pre-prepared packs in the supermarket or you could start from scratch.
  • Add grated carrots or courgettes to your shepherd’s pie mince and top with swede and carrot or sweet potato mash instead of your usual mash – this is a winner with the kids too.
  • Make up a large veggie packed frittata and cut into portions to have as a snack rather than reaching for the chocolate or biscuits.

As you can see there are countless options available to help you (and even more on the internet). The trick is to find the ones that work for you and your family… and then stick with them. The key is to make it a habit.

Within no time at all you will start to see the benefits – you’ll feel less sluggish, your skin will look better, you’ll feel happier, you’ll have more energy, focus and concentration.

In conclusion

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and improving your diet can make a positive difference. The importance of a well-balanced diet cannot be ignored. It can make a positive difference to any other health condition you may have and improve our personal and working lives.