Mental Health Awareness Week

As a borough, Havering have dedicated the month of May to help educate and support its staff with Mental Health.

We all have good and bad days, however, on these bad days its more than often we reach for “Comfort Foods”. These foods cause our brains to secrete Serotonin, boosting our mood and gives us that feel good factor,  highlighting that there is a link between the food we eat and our mood.

To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. 

― Buddha

Consuming a healthy balanced diet can actually improve our moods, as well as our sense of wellbeing! But knowing what foods can help our mental health can be confusing like more information out there, it changes regularly…

So what can you do to help improve your mental health and wellbeing?

Eat Regularly

  • Kick start your day with a hearty breakfast- especially porridge or overnight oats.
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar, as this can lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar and then a drastic drop.
  • Eating little and often ensures that your blood sugar levels stay stable, if these blood sugar levels drop this can cause the feeling of tiredness, irritability and depression. This can be achieved by choosing foods that provide a slow release of energy, such as wholegrain foods, protein foods, oats and seeds.

Eating your 5 a Day

  • Vegetables and Fruit contain vital Vitamins and Minerals that keep us physically and mentally healthy.
  • We need to eat a variety of fruit and vegetable, plenty of different colours to ensure we are consuming a vast rage of vitamins and minerals.
  • Cooking methods can alter the quality of the vitamins and mineral we consume, boiling vegetables can reduce the amount of vitamins they contain, steaming or consuming them raw are your best options to reduce the amount of vitamin loss.

Keep Hydrated 

  • Not drinking enough or staying hydrated can cloud our concentration or thinking.
  • Try to drink at least 2 pints of water a day- I was never a fan of plain water, but a way to mix it up is doing fruit infused waters. My favourite combination is watermelon and mint!
  • Avoid Alcohol or Sugary/Fizzy drinks.
  • Don’t consume too much caffeine – too much can cause you to feel anxious, depressed and can also disturb your sleep.

Protein Consumption

  • Protein is a good source of amino acids which help balance our blood sugar levels when consumed, helping us regulate our thoughts and feelings.

Consuming the right Fats

  • Our brains need fatty acids to help regulate its function, such as Omega 3 and 6- which can be found in oily fish, poultry, yoghurt and nuts.

Hopefully these tips will help us develop and maintain good mental Health and wellbeing.

For further help and tips please visit the below link…https://www.mind.org.uk/

Charlotte Newman, 16 May 2018

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