Autumn Schultz
Autumn Schultzhttps://impactmuscatine.fit/
Nutrition and lifestyle coach at Impact, helping you focus on one holistic habit at a time for a healthier lifestyle.

Muscatine Living

Now, you may be wondering, does food really affect your mood? The answer is 100% yes! Don’t worry, because once you are done reading this article, you will have three tips for finding the healthiest and happiest version of yourself!

You may be wondering, outside of feeling hangry, how does the food you eat affect your mood? Many studies have shown that diets high in fruits and vegetables, modest in lean protein, and void of many processed sugars and foods are associated with a 25-35% lower risk of depression compared to a typical westernized diet, also known as the Standard American Diet, which is typically high in processed foods, red meats, sugar, and fat, and often highlights pre-packaged or convenience foods.

Serotonin is often known as the happiness hormone, but did you know that this hormone impacts your entire body affecting things like sleep, eating, feelings or mood, and digestion? Even further, did you know that a vast majority of your serotonin receptors are located in your gut?! Newer research is finding that the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut is directly related to your diet and has a connection with diseases including depression and anxiety. When you aren’t making the choice to eat a balanced diet, the balance of your gut, which is directly related to your mood, gets compromised, leading you to feel sadder and less motivated.

Now that you know your food is truly playing a role in your mood, here is what you can start doing to find not only the healthiest version of yourself but also the happiest version!

Tip #1: Focus on food quality! You want to start reconstructing your plate to have ½ non-starchy vegetables. Next, you want to have about a palm or a quarter of your plate covered with lean proteins, leaving the last ¼ of your plate for those starchy carbohydrates. Make sure you also include a small portion of healthy fats too.

Tip #2: Be mindful of added sugar! While sugar hides almost everywhere, here are two easy areas you can start to identify and swap out excess sugar in your day! Balanced snacks should be treated like meals! Do they have a good source of protein, carbs, and fat? Another area sugar sneaks its way into your day is through beverages. Rather than reaching for sodas, lattes, or juices, aim to drink more water. If you struggle to drink water, try adding fresh fruit to your water.

Tip #3: Manage your stress! While stress isn’t as simple to navigate around as sugary beverages, you can work on proper stress management techniques! Practicing mindfulness when presented with stressors gives you an alternative way to process and handle what is happening. Whenever you are feeling stressed, practice STOP to become more mindful. STOP stands for: slow down, take a breath, observe what you are feeling in your body, and ponder the possibilities! Taking the time during stressful moments to STOP and become more mindful will help you to navigate your mindset.

Here are five other tips for managing the stress that may work for you:

  • Exercise.
  • Start a daily journal.
  • Do meditation or yoga.
  • Talk with your support system.
  • Practice mindfulness.

If you are or have ever felt like you were in a slump or navigating excess amounts of stress, now is the time to take control of your health and work with a professional to help you find the best-balanced foods and mindfulness techniques to help you reach your short and long term goals; be sure to schedule a free intro to get started today!

Know Your Impact, Athletes!

Coach Autumn

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