Holistic Nutrition: Your Ultimate Guide to Living a Healthy Life

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Namrata Roy

24 May 2022

6 Min

Holistic Nutrition: Your Ultimate Guide to Living a Healthy Life

Table of Contents

The food we eat doesn't just affect our physical health, but it also plays a definitive role in our mental and emotional well-being. Because of the shift in society's thinking, self-care and practising clean and healthy eating habits are becoming increasingly popular.

People are switching from chemically produced to organic goods, from plastic bags to cloth or paper bags, and from harmful junk food to healthier alternatives. Because, somewhere after all these years, we've realised that what we eat and how we live can help us feel better and be a healthier version of ourselves.

The link between food and mental health isn't complicated, but we often overlook it and make diet choices later regret. What we eat and drink regularly has a direct impact on our mood. Consider the relationship between sugary treats, snack foods and your emotions. Many people often ignore chocolates and cookies as a diet-conscious choice during the day but subsequently reward themselves with sugar- or carb-laden items as a "reward," leaving them feeling guilty rather than satiated.

"We tend to separate our brain from the rest of our body, but good health means good health from a holistic perspective – from head to toe. So why wouldn't we think eating well also impacts our mental health?" - Dr Gabriela Cora, Certified Psychiatrist.

Holistic nutrition believes that someone's health results from a complex interaction of physical, mental, chemical, emotional, environmental and spiritual elements in one's life and being. People who follow this concept approach nutrition from an integrated or whole-person perspective regarding an individual's well being.

Now that we understand how holistic nutrition affects a person's overall development, let's look at how we may make the most of the food-mood connection.

information on fruit and vegetables

The Relationship Between Food and Mood - How Food Affects Your Mental Health

A holistic nutritionist usually includes foods that underwent little or no refinement or processing, as well as foods that are free of additives or artificial ingredients. Including foods that make individuals feel good about themselves in your diet, such as fruits and vegetables, provides you with the minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins you need to improve your overall health.

Clean Eating Boosts the Production of Feel-Good Hormones

The consumption of healthy foods promotes the growth of "good" bacteria, which increases neurotransmitter production. On the other side, a continuous diet of junk food might promote inflammation, which can stifle output. Your central nervous system receives these positive signals loud and clear when neurotransmitter production is healthy, and your emotions reflect it. However, if production fails, your mood may suffer.

Sugar is known to be a major generator of inflammation and "bad" bacteria in the digestive tract. It can, ironically, cause a temporary surge in dopamine and other "feel good" neurotransmitters.

Emotional Eating Can be Overcome with Mindful Eating

The first thing you can do to ensure you're receiving well-balanced meals and snacks is paying attention towards how you feel when you eat and what you take. Nutritionists recommend maintaining a food journal because many of us don't pay close attention to our eating habits.

When you sense the temptation to eat when you feel anxious, stop what you're doing and jot down your feelings. This may help you figure out what's actually bothering you. If you're under-eating, plan five or six smaller meals rather than three large ones. Keeping track of what, where, and when you eat is an excellent approach to learn more about your eating habits and prevent emotional eating.

Binge Eating Processed Foods Can Lead to Poor Mental Health

When we're anxious or depressed, processed meals are generally our first choice for an instant pick-me-up. Sugar and processed meals can cause inflammation in the body and brain, contributing to mood disorders such as anxiety and sorrow. When unhappy or stressed, people tend to eat too much or too little.

When you eat too much, you will experience lethargy and weight gain. This is a difficult habit to change because of the tiredness that results from eating too little. In either scenario, inadequate nutrition during times of stress and despair exacerbates the problem. This is a terrible cycle, but it can be broken. Focus on eating plenty of fruits and veggies to improve your mental wellness.

Foods That Support Your Mental Health

which fruits and vegetables should i eat?

Instead of eating the same meals every day, dietitians recommend eating meals and snacks that include a diversity of foods to acquire all of the nutrients that boost mental efficiency.

  • Fish: Fatty fishes, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, have been related to a decrease in mental diseases including depression.

  • Healthy oils: Polyphenols in oils such as olive oil help to eliminate the effects of proteins connected to Alzheimer's disease. It can also improve memory and learning.

  • Whole grains: Whole grains aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, so when combined with foods like chicken, you can minimise symptoms of depression and anxiety while also improving cognitive performance.

  • Almonds: They contain phenylalanine, a chemical that has been found to promote the production of hormones like dopamine and other mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain.

  • Curd or yoghurt: Because of the brain-gut connection, probiotics contained in curd can help people with their mental health by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety.

Nutritional Therapy

It might have come as a surprise to you, but now you know junk food and mental health are related. A high consumption rate of junk food is related to anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and poor mental health. Having a nutritionally rich and balanced diet with an ideal lifestyle can help you ease up mental health-related issues. It will also help by removing all the bodily toxins and cleansing your system.

Nutritional therapy is a calculated shift in the daily lifestyle and diet to provide your body with its exact needs to improve physical and mental health. It is both a physiological and a holistic approach toward the betterment of your health.

A nutritional therapist studies every detail of your eating and living habits and makes adjustments to enhance your overall health. They may use IV therapy, medicinal food, or supplements to ensure that every essential nutrient is present. It is imperative to prevent any deficiency in your body, maintain a proper weight and boost your immune system.

Nutritional therapy can also help in the prevention of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart issues by maintaining a safe level of blood sugar and cholesterol.


Share Your Struggles with Eating Habits on Now&Me

Thousands of people battling with food insecurity, eating disorders, and mental health issues like bulimia are opening up about their struggles on Now&Me, much like this user. Now&Me is a secure place where you can talk about any and all of your life difficulties, including your relationship with food, without being judged or bullied.

Share your ideas with our community of helpful and empathic people if you're striving to live a healthy lifestyle or strike the right balance in your eating habits.

You can also get professional therapy through Therapy&Me, a secure community that brings together all of the finest therapists across the world in one place.


FAQs

1. What are the benefits of holistic nutrition?

There are many holistic nutrition blogs on the internet that tell you about how great it is. It considers every little thing and creates a well-balanced diet that is advantageous in every possible way. It benefits you with weight loss, improved metabolism, disease prevention, better mood, higher energy level, better immune system, etc.

2. How can nutrition improve mental health and wellbeing?

Having a well-balanced diet and proper eating habits can improve your life. Better mood, concentration, and sleep cycle, with lower stress- you can achieve all of this by following a diet made according to your needs.

3. How does nutrition affect mental performance?

Consuming food rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can make your brain work more efficiently and improve your mental performance. It also prevents the development of mental illnesses and disorders. Eating a balanced diet makes your body fit, and it helps you feel positive and confident, therefore lifting your mood.

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