Our diet plays an important part of helping not only our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing. Following the Happy Café Hapus talk, many of you requested more information regarding food and what to include in your diet.
There are many studies that point out the link of food choices that are associated with a reduced risk in depression among adults. Further evidence lies in the link between food, mood and brain health that look at how what we eat can help our neurotransmitters and support mental wellbeing. A healthy pattern between eating fresh fruit and vegetables can be positively associated with happiness and inversely with depression. With this in mind, we need to be thinking about including food that looks to reduce inflammation in the body (often associated with depression) and include food that is anti-inflammatory and will help our health – both mental and physical.
Many of these items are available to buy in our local shops. It is all too easy sometimes to drift away and relies on easy to pick up items or grab a sandwich at lunch and doing this occasionally, is ok, and you know we are all sometimes in a pickle and need to pick up something quickly – but doing this on more than 3 times a week or not including any fruit or fresh veg in your meals at least once a day will have an impact - in the short term with sugar spikes and in the longer term with your overall health and wellbeing. So, here is a short list of food items and suggestions with ways to benefit your health.
It is often daunting when thinking about making changes to your diet. Diet and what we eat are often linked to our upbringing, comfort, routine, time of year – especially with Christmas coming etc. Our gut has got used to certain foods and sometimes you will get a reaction if you make big changes. I would like to suggest that you think about changing one thing in your daily diet. Think about making a swap or think about including some of these items onto your shopping list and start to incorporate them into your daily or weekly diet. It is good also to have positive images of food, or why certain food is good for us, pinned to the fridge or door to the kitchen! And maybe keep the high fat, high sugar food in a separate drawer with a warning label. Out of sight and out of mind is a proven way to help reduce cravings….
Then think about food not being a “treat” for a bad day, or low mood. Get to the café – start a conversation, go for a walk, remember why you want to feel better, have a bath, read a book. ANYTHING to take your mind off it. Don’t watch adverts with their “tempting delights”…. Have a Naughty Day, but not every day. Have a REALLY HEALTHY day one day. It will take time to change. It is different eating food in other people’s houses, so think about being kind to yourself and making slow, but progressive changes to health. Xx
Amazing Food for YOU
Food for positive health and energy
Food that support great brain health
Foods that support your immune system
Low glycaemic index, fibre, protein and complex carbs
Neurotransmitter stimulating food and amino acids
Anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antioxidant
Red Meat (local and organic)
Green leafy veg – spinach, broccoli, kale,
Nuts *not salted
Berries (esp. blueberries) Lemons Spinach Aubergine Buckwheat Turkey Eggs Omega 3 (oily fish) Walnuts Almonds Crab Fermented food like Kimchi Food that include Vit C (fresh fruit and veg), B Vitamins, iron Pumpkin seeds
Garlic Red Peppers Citrus Fruit Carrots Berries Beetroot Green Tea Pomegranate Turmeric Ginger Yogurt Olive Oil Dark Chocolate (over 70%) Chicken Mushrooms Kefir
Foods considered to be “inflammatory”
Linked to depression
Food to reduce in your daily diet
Always look on packets for anything with “ose” in the ingredients, like fructose, sucrose etc. Causes cytokine - good for fighting off virus, etc, but often “bad” as linked to increased inflammation
Avoid food that are high in saturated fat – e.g. that pizza with extra cheese
We talked about this in the food session where we look at how certain fats have a chemical process linked to them and can cause a systemic inflammation – e.g. processed or fried food, margarine, doughnuts, Hydrogenated oil etc
Not to be confused with Omega 3. Whilst a small amount is actually good for us, an excessive amount can trigger and inflammatory response – so peanuts, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, sunflower oil etc
So, any kind of flour that is super white – processed foods, white processed bread, or instant mash, oven chips, crisps etc
Monosodium glutamate – usually found in preserved foods, such as bacon, sausages, deli meat, prepared soups or high salt foods
No, you don’t have to do a gluten free diet, but reducing your gluten will help reduce inflammation – read labels, but gluten is a protein in wheat.
Alcohol can sometimes cause an inflammation response that is often called a “leaky gut” – where bacterial toxins can move from your intestines to the rest of the body and potentially cause organ damage