If you want to boost your physical wellness for optimal mental health and wellbeing here are a few ideas of where you can start to make changes in your everyday life that will have a positive impact.
1. Eat nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are incredibly nutritious. They are packed with protein, fibre, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. A recent study noted that a low intake of nuts and seeds was potentially linked to an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes. So, start getting nutty about nuts.
2. Avoid ultra-processed foods
Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are foods containing ingredients that are significantly modified from their original form. They often contain additives like added sugar, highly refined oil, salt, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colours, and flavours. Think foods like fast food, ready meals, packaged baked goods (cakes or bread), packaged sweet treats (chocolate, sweets, biscuits), packaged savoury goods (potato or corn crisps / chips). These taste divine because they are made to by manufacturers. The ate created to be over consumed by triggering the reward-related regions in the brain, this leads to excess eating and weight gain. Studies show that diets high in ultra-processed food can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. On top of all that low quality ingredients like refined oils, added sugar, and refined grains are usually low in fibre, protein, and micronutrients – making them empty nutritiously.
3. Coffee is OK
Coffee is rich in antioxidants, and some studies have linked it to longevity and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and numerous other illnesses.
Although, it’s still best to consume coffee and any caffeine-based items in moderation. Excessive intake could lead to health issues like insomnia and heart palpitations. To enjoy coffee in a safe and healthy way, keep your intake to less than 4 cups per day and avoid high-calorie, high-sugar additives like sweetened creamer.
4. Eat fatty fish
Fish is a great source of high-quality protein and healthy fat. This is particularly true of fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, which is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty (something the body does not produce naturally) acids and various other nutrients.
Studies have shown that people who eat fish regularly have a lower risk for several conditions, including heart disease, dementia, and inflammatory bowel disease.
5. Get enough sleep
The importance of getting enough quality of sleep cannot be overstated.
Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, can disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance. Poor sleep is one of the strongest individual risk factors for weight gain and obesity due to high levels of stress leading to high levels of cortisol. People who do not get enough sleep tend to make food choices that are higher in fat, sugar, and calories, potentially leading to unwanted weight gain, due to the need for more energy throughout the day.
6. Feed your gut bacteria
The bacteria in your gut, collectively called the gut microbiota, are incredibly important for overall health. A disruption in gut bacteria is linked to some chronic diseases, including obesity and a myriad of digestive problems. Good ways to improve gut health include eating fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, taking probiotic supplements — when indicated — and eating plenty of fibre. Notably, fibre serves as a prebiotic, or a food source for your gut bacteria.
7. Stay hydrated
Hydration is an important and often overlooked marker of health. Staying hydrated helps ensure that your body is functioning optimally and that your blood volume is sufficient. Water is the best way to stay hydrated, as it’s free of calories, sugar, and additives.
Although there’s no set amount that everyone needs per day, aim to drink enough so that your thirst is adequately quenched, a baseline for this is 2 litres.
8. Don’t eat heavily charred meats
Meat can be a nutritious and healthy part of your diet because it’s very and a rich source of nutrients, but problems can occur when meat is charred or burnt. This charring can lead to the formation of harmful compounds that may increase your risk for certain cancers.
When you cook red meat, try not to char or burn it. Additionally limit your consumption of red and processed meats like lunch meats and bacon as these are linked to overall cancer risk and colon cancer risk.
These are just some of the tools you can access in the 8Wise™ Wellness Programme so if you are struggling with your psychological wellbeing, are just wanting to live a healthy happy life or you simply want to support others, then get in touch for more information on how Living the 8 Wise Way can lead to optimal mental health and wellbeing and an improved quality of life.