There are various benefits that result from improving your diet. Some of these include enhancing your sleep quality, lifting your mood, and even preventing life-threatening diseases. Whilst dieting may seem like a complex thing to navigate, it predominantly comes down to balance and steering clear of too many processed foods that may look shiny on the outside but have the opposite effect on your insides. With the appropriate combination of nutrients, your mind and body will benefit greatly.
If you’re looking to improve your diet, it’s best to first consult an experienced doctor in your local area, such as Dr Ruscio in California.
1. Mood and Mental Health Enhancements
It should come as no surprise that what you put into your body will have an effect on both your stomach and your mind. Certain foods are well-known for easing mental frustration, whilst others have been proven to amplify feelings of anxiety and depression. With depression becoming one of the top four major diseases in the world, it’s crucial to analyze diet’s role. The chemicals in our brain can be altered depending on what we feed ourselves, therefore, it’s important to focus on the best possible sustenance. Sometimes, it’s the sweetest and most colorful foods that will keep you feeling blue. Whilst it is often tempting to reach for the processed comfort foods when you’re not feeling your brightest, these can actually contribute to and amplify symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, and brain fog. A balanced and healthy diet, however, can often ease and prevent these feelings.
There are several mood-boosting foods that you may be tempted to add to your own diet once you learn how they work. Anti-inflammatory foods and healthy fats, for example, can positively affect your blood vessels, and ultimately your brain function, minimizing depressive symptoms.
These foods can include:
- Fatty fish
- Leafy greens
- Olive oil
Wholegrains and fermented foods such as yoghurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut have been known to contribute to the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Fermented foods are often known as “natural probiotics” for their positive impact on the stomach, which encourages your serotonin levels to grow. A healthy gut helps a healthy mind. Optimizing your serotonin levels can also be as simple as eating more bananas. It is not only their sunny appearance that causes you to feel brighter; they can also help stabilize your blood sugar levels and aid in mood control.
Seafood, vegetables, fruit, and a surplus of various other unprocessed foods may bring the Mediterranean and Asian cuisine to mind. Their traditional and nutrient-rich diets have been proven in studies to have reduced the threat of depression by approximately 30%. Whereas the Westernized diet can have the complete opposite result. Increased portions of processed fats and sugars can confuse your blood sugar levels and in turn, confuse your mental state.
2. Improved Sleep
If you struggle with restless, uncomfortable sleep, it might be a good idea to track and alter what you’re consuming—not only straight before bed but during the day as well. If a grumbling stomach is all that’s between you and a pleasant night of dreams, make sure to eat enough for dinner, rather than skipping a meal. However, more often than not, an unrefreshing sleep can come down to consuming too many high-sugar drinks and carbs during the day. As high intakes of such can affect your mood, they can also increase fatigue during the daylight hours, resulting in a poor quality of sleep at night. A study depicted that female workers in Japan who consumed large amounts of sweets and carbs endured a poor quality of sleep at night, whereas, those whose diet consisted more of fish, fruits and vegetables displayed better sleeping patterns.
Whilst it’s no secret that coffee can provide you with the energy boost you need, it’s crucial to time your intake. Even consuming small amounts of coffee hours before you lay down to sleep can block your brain’s winding-down ability. Avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages before sleep can also minimize your chances of heartburn throughout the night. An improved diet will most likely improve your sleep quality.
3. Prevents Disease
One of the most beneficial results of cleaner eating is reducing the risk of disease. Not only can a healthy diet keep your waistline down, but high-calcium foods can improve your bone and teeth strength, high-fiber foods can decrease your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, and a rich menu of greens, fish, lean meat, whole grains, and a low salt intake is believed to significantly reduce your chances of heart disease and aid in recovery after a heart attack. With a large portion of United States citizens passing away from heart disease, exercise is not the only highlighted key preventative measure, but also diet. It may seem like enough to consume ingredients with a lower fat content, however, a study of 406 heart attack patients showed that a balanced diet is crucial, as well as incorporating low-fat items.
The Mediterranean diet receives another gold star for aiding in disease prevention, with a recent study suggesting that it’s not only useful in minimizing the chances of heart disease but also stroke. Reducing the risk of cancer can also come down to cleaner eating—especially foods that contain natural antioxidants and vitamins, such as berries. With a little extra care and attention to what you put into your body, you’ll not only take care of your weight, but also potentially avoid the chance of obesity.
There are multiple positive results of improving your diet. Reducing your intake of processed, fatty, and sugary foods is believed to aid in mood regulation, whilst consuming natural, anti-inflammatory, probiotic, and vitamin-rich foods can boost your mental clarity and minimize symptoms of depression and anxiety. Altering what and when you consume can significantly impact your quality of sleep, too. Avoiding artificial sweets and processed goods during the day can improve your mind’s ability to wind down and fall into a deeper, refreshing sleep.
One of the biggest reasons to alter your diet is to prevent the onset of disease and recover from a medical battle. Stroke, heart disease, cancer, and obesity are just a few of many problematic diseases that can potentially be avoided or eased with the correct attention to a balanced diet.