How Your Diet Affects Your Mental Health
1. “You are what you eat”
This quote is well-known all around the world but what exactly is good food and which huge impacts can it have on your body and soul?
In every day of our lives, we need to make several decisions regarding food: Coffee or Tea? Cereals or Bread? Ham or Cheese? There are vast quantities of decisions we are making through a day which are affecting more than just our weight. Food is more than just the satisfaction of hunger, it is essential for all of our bodily functions but not only physical but very importantly mentally, which is often underrated.
An unbalanced diet can cost a lack of nutrient metabolism and leads to depressions, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and fatigue and weakened brain functions. To avoid those side effects of a non-nutritious diet, we need to provide our body with all necessary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as it has a massive effect on our mental health.
Not only is a diet full of healthy nutrients important for our private lives but it also highly effects our professional lives, our productivity, our work results and overall the time we are spending in the office.
2. Good food — good mood
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” — Bethenny Frankel
The body wins energy from food. There are three essential macronutrients that play a role in our everyday diet: carbs, fats and proteins.
Did you know that it is recommended to provide your body with around 55–60 % of carbs (264 g), 10–15 % of proteins (66 g) and 30 % of fats (264 g) daily for a normal function?
But that’s not all. Highly important for our well-being are the micronutrients which are incorporated in healthy food. They can have massive effects on our body sensation, as well as on our minds. To help you stay healthy, fit and lucky you need to follow a balanced diet full of great micronutrients. Zinc, Magnesium, Omega 3, Iron, Vitamin B&D, Amino acids, as well as healthy fats. They can be real Mood Boosters for our brains and can rapidly improve our feeling of happiness.
Here are some examples of mood-boosting nutrients & where you can find them:
- Zinc: pulses and cereals, soybeans, red meat, poultry, milk products and eggs
- Magnesium: nuts, potatoes, wholemeal bread, pulses, broccoli and brown rice
- Omega 3: linseeds & linseeds oil, soya oil, rapeseed oil, chia seeds and walnuts
- Iron: oat flakes, soybeans, lentils, sesame, quinoa and green vegetables
- Vitamin B&D: fish, meat, cheese, nuts, green vegetables and whole-grain products
- Amino acids: spinach and other green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beans, sesame and soybeans
- Healthy fats: walnuts, eggs, avocado, olive oil, salmon, cheese and linseeds
3. Healthy lifestyle at work
25,3 days per month are people spending at work.
Calculated for one year employees spend around 213–232 days working. According to that, every employee spends around 63,6% of the year at work. To ensure a balanced diet and to provide your body with all important nutrients and vitamins, it is important to follow your diet in all areas of life.
Here are 4 easy ways you can include in your office-day, that will help you stay healthy, fit and happy.
1.Prepare your breakfast at home:
Begin your day with the right food. A nutritious breakfast is a basis to start a great day and help you to boost your mood! You can prepare your breakfast easily at home and bring it with you to the office or enjoy it already at home.
There are many easy, healthy and fast recipes: For example wholemeal bread with avocado, porridge with nuts and fruits or scrambled eggs with tomatoes and baby leaf.
2. Keep healthy snacks nearby
Everybody needs a little snack sometimes. Be smart and replace the sweets and candies with healthy alternatives like walnuts, cashews, an apple or a banana. You can also prepare some sugar-free blueberry muffins at home and bring them with you.
3. Choose the right lunch — Bella&Bona
A healthy lunch is essential for your health, your happiness and your performance at work!
A great lunch option is the service of Bella&Bona, it’s not only easy and time-saving but it also helps you to follow your diet. There are several meal options, which are compatible with a low carbohydrate diet, a vegan and vegetarian diet or a high-protein diet. Every one of your colleagues will find a delicious option to enjoy and relax in the lunch break.
All of our dishes are high in micronutrients, which are important for your mental health, as well as for your mental performance and can boost your activity and health. But most importantly your mood!
Here are two of our delicious and healthy mood-boosters (Healthy Boost):
Winter Underwood (vegan option):
This health-boosting dish comes with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, baby spinach, protein-filled lentils and is topped off with a spicy peanut sauce.
- Sweet potatoes: a good source of most of our B vitamins and vitamin C & magnesium
- Mushrooms: rich in B vitamins + vitamin D
- Baby Spinach: amino acids + vitamin B&D
- Canned Lentils: iron & omega-3
- Olive-oil: healthy fats & omega3
Teriyaki Wakame Salmon Bowl (meat option):
This tasty bowl comes with wakame — a seaweed type cultivated in Japan and Korea — salmon, fresh vegetables and teriyaki sauce.
- Smoked Salmon: rich in omega-3, vitamin B&D
- Wakame: high in magnesium
- Daikon: high in vitamin C
- Sesame oil: rich in omega3
- Edamame: a decent source of soy protein = iron & magnesium
We mostly work from 7–9 hours per day, sometimes even more because we don´t enjoy our breaks to the fullest. Emails are still opened, tasks being finished. Consequently, our minds are even full of work in our lunch breaks.
Without those breaks your productivity, your physical and mental wellbeing suffers. To avoid this, try to make some small breaks in between to let some fresh air into your office, to grab an apple or some nuts and go for a quick walk. You will see that your job satisfaction will improve, as well as your productivity and well-being.
4. Healthy Mind — Healthy Life
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ― Buddha
Our body is an incredible high complex construct, which always works, even when we are sleeping. To ensure working rightly and to provide it with all necessary supply of nutrients, it is essential that we are following a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
It´s not only important to stay healthy during work but rather to incorporate small changes to your everyday life. With choosing the right food and regular exercises or movement, you will feel the difference not only on your body but most importantly your mindset and your positive feelings will increase and depressions and anxiety can disappear.
Sometimes it takes days or weeks before you feel a noticeable change in your life but on long terms, it makes such a huge difference for your whole life! So try to boost your mood with all the small macronutrients and see how your life can change positively!
Written by Nathalie Röhl