Today is World Health Day which is the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization and their work to improve and protect the health of people around the globe. My biggest health battle has been living with Post Natal Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Despite being a chemical illness that affects the brain, depression has a very physical impact on your body.
The chemical changes from depression can cause changes in your energy, appetite and sleep all of which are essential to the nutritional needs of your body. The stress on your body from depression can cause inflammation, spikes in blood sugars, constipation, and increased stomach acids. I have learnt a huge amount about which foods help my body cope with, and fight, my mental illness and today I’m sharing with you those foods I eat every week to support my body and mental health.
Oily Fish – Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Brain Function
Every cell in your body requires Omega-3 fatty acids to function. DHA is one type of Omega-3 Fatty Acid that is particularly important for the cells in your brain to function and repair. DHA is prevalent in Salmon, Tuna and Anchovies so I eat at least 2 portion of these every week.
Dark Green Veggie – The Myelin Sheath Around Brain Cells
Your brain cells have a fatty, white insulation call the Myelin Sheath which wraps around the neurons and helps them communicate efficiently. This integrity of this sheath relies on our diet to stay healthy so I eat Dark Green Veggies 4-6 times a week because they contain nutrition that protects and repairs the myelin sheath. These veggies include Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, Brussel Sprouts and Watercress.
Nuts, Seeds and Beans – Anti-Oxidants and Digestion
These little edible gems are brilliant for keeping your blood sugar levels even, improving your digestion (which in turn steadies your energy levels) and they contain anti-oxidants which suck up free radicals in your body so that they can’t harm your cells. I eat 7-10 portions of these foods every week: Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Cannellini Beans, Baked Beans