What You Eat Affects Your Physical and Mental Health

Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,”

When I was a child, my grandmother often took me searching for wild mushrooms to add to home-cooking. I truly enjoyed hunting through the local woodland on the outlook for those delicacies.  But what I always admired about her, was her ability to differentiate the safe ones from the most poisonous mushrooms.

My grandmother grew up in a small town south of Mexico City. San Andres Totoltepec. It is close to the Ajusco volcanic mountains with the highest peak measuring 3,937 meters above the sea level.

In those days, I remember, beautiful countryside surrounded most of the town. My grandparents supported themselves through agriculture.  Agriculture in Mexico, back then, was an essential sector of the country’s economy.

They had several blocks of land where my grandfather mainly cultivated maize and distributed them to markets. Corn is the primary staple that remains as the native food.

My grandmother was an excellent cook and a loving lady. We used to visit on a weekly basis and truly enjoyed the flavour and quality of the local vegetables she used to prepare our food.

Back at our home, however, we became culture focused on convenience, and that included how we ate. With all of the other responsibilities, It was a lot easier to open a can, unwrap a package or with the increasing availability of fast food and convenience items, eating healthy slipped by the wayside. 

By now we all know that the quality of our diet has a significant effect on our physical health, but we also need to consider our mental health.

The Australian Newspaper had an interesting article saying that research over the past decade shows that a healthy diet can prevent depression.  And an unhealthy diet – high in processed and refined foods – increases the risk for the disease in everyone, including children and teens.

What You Eat Affects Your Physical and Mental HealthThe research points out that a healthy diet should consist of a Mediterranean-style diet made up primarily of high in fruits and vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, yoghurt and cheese, legumes, nuts, seafood, whole grains and small portions of red meat.

This diet will provide our brain with the nutrition it needs, regulate our inflammatory response and support the good bacteria in our gut, says Mosconi, author of Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power.

There are other benefits associated with a proper diet and our mental health:

Increase Energy – Protein increases the production of a brain chemical that regulates concentration. It improves focus, making you feel alert. Protein-packed snack can elevate your mood.

Relieve Digestive Problems – The digestive system is an essential part of our body. Its primary functions are to help our body absorb essential nutrients and get rid of waste products. Home remedies like Ginger, Probiotic Foods, Peppermint, Fennel Seeds, and Apple Cider Vinegar can help to improve digestion and prevent digestive problems,

Lose Weight – Here are some of the most weight loss friendly foods: Whole eggs, Leafy Greens, Salmon, Cruciferous vegetables, Lean Beef and Chicken Breast, Bean and Legumes, Avocados, Apple Cider Vinegar, Whole grains, Fruit,  to mention a few.

And don’t forget water.  Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not like to consume enough fluids each day.  Water is not at the top of many people’s list of priorities.

I have come to appreciate the benefits of eating healthy food as close to its natural state as possible for the best possible health and wellbeing. Hope it is in your priority list as well.

If you have other suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  I am always open to learning ways to improve my health and mental well-being.

With much appreciation

Luci

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