Y’all folks! We’re hoping that you’re taking care of yourself amidst these crazy times that we are leaving. Today, we are bringing a new post for our International Zing Burger blog about how we can optimize mental health through diet and nutrition.
Are you getting ‘hangry’ when dinner is late? Clouded by brain fog at 3pm? If you find yourself reaching for the biscuit tin mid-afternoon, you’re not alone. Many of us find ourselves trying to boost our mood with a sugar hit. Unfortunately, while this might seem a good short-term fix, it can actually end up making a low mood worse. Let’s get down to business!
About mental health, we used to think that the brain and the body as being separate. But it’s really only in the last 10 years that we’re one tightly integrated, very complex system. So, what happens in the body affects the brain and vice versa.
There are several definitions for mental health. Across all the definitions, one thing in common is: being mentally healthy is much more than not having any mental health disorders. And so, being mentally healthy is also essential for overall health.
According to the World Health Organization, “mental health” is “…a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and can make a contribution to her or his community”.
Food can have a big impact on our day-to-day mood changes and mental health. Yet carrying a poor diet and poor mental health are some of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide.
In 2020, a large-scale study on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) reported that poor diet and other conditions influenced by diet, such as blood pressure, are in the top six factors for early death globally. The study has shown that we don’t consume enough foods like whole-grain cereals, fruit, vegetables or legumes. In contrast, we overconsume processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and salt.
Following a healthy pattern of eating is linked with better stress management, improved sleep quality, increased concentration, and better mental wellbeing in general. Take a glance at our post Healthy Food: 5 reasons why are important to dive into this topic.
Spoiler alert: there’s no superfood for mental wellbeing. But we have the recipe to boost your mood! Our brains can crave quick sources of energy when we’re tired. Chocolate, sugary drinks, and other discretionary foods might give us an immediate energy hit but it doesn’t last long. What goes up must come down, and you may find you feel worse in the long run as they are high-kilojoule but nutrient-poor.
Let’s cut the chase! The key is a combination of balance, variety, and eating from the five food groups. Your diet approach needs to include:
Food fuels both body and mind to ensure that we can function well. Our brain needs nutritious foods too. In fact, consumes around 20% of our total daily energy requirements.
That’s why at International Zing Burgers we encourage you to carry a healthy lifestyle even when you want to eat out with your friends. So that our fast-food range is guilt-free and healthy for your wellbeing and body. Don’t think twice and discover our mouth-watering offer!
Drinking water prevents dehydration – a common cause of headaches, tiredness, and ‘brain fog’ that can affect our ability to concentrate. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 2 litres per day, and more when you’re exercising making changes can be challenging – start small and look for simple swaps to improve your diet.
And remember, little positive changes add up to a healthier, happier you.
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