WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY: Boost your Mental Health with Omega-3’s and Dark Leafy Greens
Monday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. This day is aimed to help raise awareness of mental health issues and provide us with an opportunity to reconnect with our own mental health and how we can improve it. There are a ton of things we can do to better our mental health – eat foods that make us feel good, participate in acts of self-care, find joyful ways to be physically active, and so much more.
Food and Mood: there is a connection between diet and emotions – your gastrointestinal tract is often referred to as the “second brain.” Including foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids and dark leafy greens can help enhance your mental well-being.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in foods like salmon, tuna, nuts, and seeds. Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties and can easily travel through the brain cell membrane to interact with mood-related molecules, which help improve mental health.
Dark Leafy Greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – most importantly noted – vitamin K, lutein, beta carotene, nitrate, folate, iron, and many more. Having at least 1 serving of leafy greens has been associated with slower cognitive decline and improved brain health.
Self-Care can mean a variety of things to different people, since everyone takes care of themselves differently. Regardless of how you view self-care, it is important to have a self-care toolbox that feels good for you! There are a variety of tools in a toolbox, all used for different projects. There is not one tool that fixes everything. Fill your self-care toolbox with different ways to that make you feel good – here are some examples/ideas.
- Connection with friends and family – schedule time to have a meal with a friend, make time to call and catch up with a family member, send someone a funny video to brighten their day.
- Get moving – take a mid-day walk to help clear your head and get some fresh air, schedule time for yoga or stretching to relax after a busy day, garden, dance, vacuum your house – movement is anything that gets you up and moving, so find something you enjoy doing!
- Journal – it can feel nice and reflective to write down the thoughts that are swirling in your head. Get them on a piece of paper and maybe you will view them differently.
- Gratitude jar – find an empty jar and small pieces of paper. Write down one good thing that happens each day. When you need a little pick me up, choose a paper from the jar.
- Have a mindful meal – find time to actually take a break and enjoy a meal distraction free! Pay attention to the food you’re eating or the company you are with and enjoy the moment.
Share with us – what are some tools in your self-care toolbox?