We’ve all heard of the saying ‘we are what we eat’ but when it comes to aiding our wellbeing, what exactly is it that we should be eating? Of course, a healthy balanced diet is always recommended as it has many health benefits such as reducing risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. But are there any specific food groups that can help your overall wellbeing?
In this article, we are going to look at 5 main food groups that you should be aiming to get into your diet every single day. There have been recent studies that have shown the proven benefits of these types of food on your psychological wellbeing.
Including complex carbohydrates in your diet on a daily basis can really help to stabilise your mood throughout the day. This is due to their ability to release glucose slowly over several hours. Complex carbohydrates are sugars made up of large molecules contained within fibre and starch. This includes foods like:
- Wholemeal bread
- Wholewheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Beans, pulses and legumes.
Increasing your intake of these foods and cutting down on sugary drinks and snacks is your first step to feeling more energetic and uplifted.
Not only do foods rich in antioxidants do wonders for your skin, but they will also revitalise your brain. They have the amazing ability to repair cell damage in the brain and can even help you to concentrate better. This ability acts as a defence and can protect you from mental health problems. Antioxidants can be found in many brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as:
- Dark leafy greens
- Russet potatoes
- Red kidney beans
Omega 3 is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids that is important for the health of the brain and producing the ‘feel good’ hormones. It has also been found that it can increase brain function which may slow down the progression of dementia and improve symptoms of depression.
Omega 3 is only found in foods that we eat, our body does not create it, so it is one of the most important things we should be adding into our diet. It is well known that fish, especially oily fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines, includes a high amount of Omega 3. However, if you don’t like fish, you can also find Omega 3 in the following foods:
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy vegetables
This is an important one. A deficiency in Vitamin B can lead to a reduced production of the happiness hormones in our brain which, of course, leads to the onset of a low mood. If you are feeling low and have a lack of ‘get up and go’ about you at the moment, it is likely that you are not getting enough Vitamin B in your diet. Try to increase your intake of the following foods:
- Whole grains
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Beans and pulses
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits (especially bananas and citrus fruits)
- Dark leafy vegetables
To summarise, if you are wanting to really boost your wellbeing and become more uplifted and energetic, you should consider reviewing your day-to-day food intake. Making a few small changes can really boost the level of hormones in your body and it won’t take long for you to notice a difference in your wellbeing.
Remember, you are what you eat.