Eating healthily plays a vital role in enhancing cognitive function and promoting mental well-being. Consuming nutritious foods supports cognitive function and mental wellness by providing essential nutrients that fuel brain health, optimize neurotransmitter function, and maintain overall psychological balance. Furthermore, a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supports the growth and repair of neurons, which are the cells that send messages throughout your body, contributing to improved memory, focus, and emotional resilience.
Here are six helpful tips on eating healthy this spring.
1. Make a set schedule of when you will have your meals and don’t deviate if possible. Keep healthy snacks, such as popcorn, protein bars, fresh fruits and vegetables nearby, in your desk drawer or car, for snacking.
2. Plan a healthy menu and only shop for the items you need for that particular week. Need some inspiration? Check out the Mediterranean diet, which has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, depression, and diabetes. The Mediterranean Diet is highly recommended by doctors around the nation. It also can help prevent cognitive decline, weight management, and reduce the risk of overall mortality.
3. Make sure you are eating enough protein, using good fats for cooking, such as olive oil, eating salads and green vegetables, and reducing caffeine intake. Don’t forget to wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated! Try out the Plant Nanny Water Tracker app and do your best to reach the 2 liters goal - that's two 32 ounce water bottles!
5. Keep a food journal. Keep track of what you are eating and noting times of the day when you have food cravings. Also, keep track of your energy level throughout the day and see what patterns are emerging.
6. Choose healthier takeout options. If you are eating Chinese cuisine, stay away from noodles and heavy sauces, and ask for your meal steamed. With Italian food, portion half of your serving for dinner and save the other half for lunch the next day. Stay away from fast foods which are mostly fried and high in fat and calories.
Remember, that along with eating a well-balanced diet, it’s important to get exercise every day and get a good night’s sleep. Set a step goal for yourself and try to go on a daily walk. It's also important to make sure you are getting close to 8 hours of sleep a night. Get creative both with menu planning and exercise to maintain your physical and mental health.