Healthy Eating for a Positive Mindset

Have you ever noticed the way your diet effects your mood?  Think about the last time you ate fast food, what did you do for the rest of the day? Often fried foods slow us down and lead to stomach upset.  Even at a mild level the discomfort can interfere with your concentration and mood. Additionally, it may lead to extra trips to the bathroom.

Think instead about how you feel eating a salad or a piece of fresh fruit. The vitamins and nutrients in a salad help support you physically so you can focus more and stay on track. This increase in productivity leads to small wins and will help boost your mood.  At our very basic level we need physical support so that we can spend our mental energy on higher functions. Think about the Hierarchy of Needs written by Maslow in the 1940’s, the base of the pyramid is physical needs being met. One of those is food for energy and functioning of our cells.  Additionally eating fresh fruits and vegetables provide fiber which cleanses your gastrointestinal system. This cleanse helps to detoxify and remove waste products from your system. By removing the waste products your brain and immune system function better.  By eating well and selecting more wholesome foods you can support your body at the basic level leaving room for higher functioning.

Another point of healthy eating for a positive mindset is in your beverage consumption. The average person should be drinking an ounce of fluid per kilogram of body weight each day. (Your weight in kilograms is equal to your weight in pounds divided by 2.2).  Drinking enough water ensures that your organs function properly and that includes your brain. Our bodies use electrical pulses to transmit signals and water is needed to ensure proper transmission. Additionally, becoming dehydrated can lead to headaches which interfere with wellbeing. Having a headache makes it difficult to concentrate and accomplish tasks which can lead to feeling frustrated.  Instead keep yourself hydrated to keep things moving smoothly and help you stay at your best.

Drinks that contain a lot of sugar or caffeine are likely to give you a short term boost. They may help you get through the next few hours but eventually their effects will wear off. The crash coming off of these can lead to feelings of fatigue which interfere with your wellbeing. Additionally, sugar highlights the same areas of your brain as many addictive drugs. Your brain will then stimulate cravings similarly and send you heading for the snack drawer again. This can lead to over consumption of calories and missing nutrients in your diet. The combination of too many calories, especially those from sugary drinks, and feeling the crash after they wear off can lead to a downward spiral. Try to avoid drinks that are high in sugar and caffeine and aim for other energy boosters instead.