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Diet and Nutrition Impact Physical and Mental Wellbeing

Small Changes Create Gains for Overall Health and Wellbeing

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH, and this year Mental Health America’s theme (4Mind4Body) focuses on small changes – both physically and mentally – to create gains for our overall health and wellbeing. No matter your state of wellbeing, all of us could benefit from small positive changes. As could our families and children. So, over the next week, we wanted to share some of their suggestions with you.

The first place to begin making small changes: DIET AND NUTRITION. It is well known that poor diets lead to major health issues, like diabetes, heart disease, obesity or cancer. Have you thought about how your diet impacts your everyday parenting skills? your resilience, your patience, your energy to keep up?  Your mental health? Your child’s?

Yes, a better diet means better mental health. The quality of food you eat has an impact on your entire body, and that includes your brain. So whether that means your child’s ability to learn or your own fortitude to meet the day’s challenges, small changes in your diet can make a major impact in your quality of wellbeing.

A healthy diet includes:

a full range of vegetables, fruits, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), fish, whole grains (rice, quinoa, oats, breads, etc.), nuts, avocados and olive oil to support a healthy brain. Sweet and fatty foods should be special treats, not the staples of your diet.

Just in case you need additional inspiration, we’d like to share one of their notes on nutrition:

Vitamin D is important for optimal brain functioning, including mood and critical thinking.

Good to know, right?  Mood and critical thinking impact how you react at work, at home, and just about every step of your day – from solving the-problem-of-the-lost-shoe to navigating complex decisions.

So, how do you begin making positive changes in your diet? We found some great tools at Mental Heath America to help you:

  • Get inspired by the incredible benefits a healthy diet brings
  • Learn about key nutrients and what roles they play in a your physical and mental health
  • Define your obstacles
  • Create your goals
  • Plan your grocery list
  • Get started!
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