Have you ever noticed that when you eat a whole lot of certain foods — cookies, chips, that kind of thing — you feel just yucky?
There’s a reason for that.
A growing field of science is finding a connection between what we eat and our mood.
It’s called “gut health” — when high levels of sugar, certain medications and other things we ingest put us in a constant level of depression, moodiness or anxiety, and can sometimes affect memory retention and cognition.
Luckily, fixing it isn’t all that difficult.
We rounded up 7 ways to improve your gut health so you can shake that “blah” feeling and be the best you possible.
1. Go anti-inflammatory.
Inflammation is a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. It’s something a lot of people deal with, and food is often the culprit. Rather than eating mostly inflammatory-causing Omega 6’s (sunflower seeds, nuts, etc.), opt instead for foods with Omega 3 fatty acids — think fish, produce, flaxseed, etc.
2. Fiber is your friend.
Healthy fats and fiber are going to improve your gut health. Next time you’re snacking, reach for the walnuts or an avocado to pack your belly with exactly what it needs to turn that frown upside down.
3. Say “so long” to sweets.
High-sugar foods cause mental fatigue, fogginess, headaches, mood swings and even poor memory retention. They’ve even been linked to depression and anxiety. There’s never been a better time to shelf the cookies, cake, candy and soda. Your mind will thank you.
4. Stop with the fake stuff.
While you’re at it, skip the foods laden with artificial sweeteners, too. Just because they don’t have calories doesn’t mean they’re good for your body. They’re chemicals — and chemicals should have no place in your gut.
5. Sleep sweetly.
Plenty of studies have shown that getting a good night’s rest is directly related to higher levels of self-control, better mood and overall healthiness. That means you need to make sleep a top priority in your life. Learn ways to get the best sleep possible here.
6. Make it a stress-free day.
Stressed? Like a lot? That can wreak havoc on your health. While you may not be able to control the life circumstances that cause you stress, you can control how you deal with them. Breathe deep and practice other techniques to deal with stress as effectively as possible.
7. Take the planning out of it.
Take the planning and stress out of eating healthy with one of Diet-to-Go’s delicious, convenient meal plans. We’ll show you proper portion size and provide you the right nutrition to make sure your gut health is spot on. We deliver meals almost anywhere in the continental U.S., offer fresh local pickup at hundreds of locations and do same-deal fresh delivery. Learn more here.
Have you ever changed your diet and noticed your mood elevated too? Tell us about it!
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.