By Elaine Gardner
Elaine Gardner, the founder of Design Your Healthy Life, is on a mission to help you take control of your health, feel amazing and have the energy you need to live the life you dream of and deserve.
Mental health is often viewed as an isolated part of overall health. But your body is one unit and all aspects of your health are interconnected. Enhancing and optimizing your physical health dramatically impacts your mental health.
Gut health is the cornerstone of whole-body health and improving your digestion and elimination can significantly enhance your mood, focus, motivation, concentration, and overall mental health.
Most of the feel-good brain chemicals your body makes, neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, are manufactured in your gut. When your gut is compromised, it can’t make these powerful chemicals and your moods will suffer. Depression, anxiety, brain fog and lack of motivation can be symptoms of poor digestive function.
Without proper function in your gut, your ability to fully absorb the nutrients in your food is compromised. All of the complex functions of your body require an array of nutrients, so nothing works the way it could when your absorption is less than ideal.
Man-made chemicals in the food supply - pesticides, insecticides, Round Up, antibiotics, synthetic hormones and more, assault your gut and compromise its ability to break down and absorb what you eat, interfering with your body’s ability to make all the feel-good chemicals your body makes that keep you calm and happy.
Man-made chemicals also disrupt your hormonal system, which is critical to your brain function, intellect, moods, healing capabilities and the continuous and harmonious function of each and every cell, gland, organ, and function of your body. A well balanced and fully functional hormonal system is critical for vitality at every stage of your life and can make or break your ability to feel great.
Our food supply is loaded with risky ingredients that can sabotage your health, so choosing high-quality food is an essential component of protecting and maximizing your health. Opting for organic food is a powerful step to avoid many of these ingredients. The organic label is legally defined and third-party verified while many other food labels have no meaning, verification or enforcement.
Organic food production prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides, insecticides, Roundup, antibiotics and many other ingredients that can interfere with the proper function of your body. And studies show that organically raised foods have more nutrients. So, choosing organic means you’ll get less of what you don’t need and more of what you do need.
The types of foods that you choose also impacts all aspects of your health. Healthy fats like avocado’s, olive oil, butter, and palm oil and those in properly raised animal products like grass-fed beef feed your brain and nervous system. They are essential choices to support focus, motivation, energy, brain function, mood, and healthy skin and hair.
On the flip side, avoiding unhealthy fats is also super helpful as they are inflammatory, create and increase physical pain, contribute to brain fog and increase your odds of many diseases. Sadly, these are the fats that are rampant in our food supply and include canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil and anything that is fully or partially hydrogenated.
We’ve been led to believe that eating fats make us fat, but processed sugar is often the culprit. You may not be aware of its effects, but sugar makes you spacey and tired, challenges your digestion, lowers your immunity, is inflammatory and robs your body of essential nutrients like B vitamins that support mood, energy, and digestion. It’s also highly addictive and creates cravings, driving you to buy and consume products that contain it over and over again.
You can break the addictive cycle of sugar and regain your taste for naturally sweet and healthy foods by avoiding processed sugar and flooding your body with awesome tasting, healthy food that makes you look and feel amazing. And eating more healthy fats is often incredibly supportive in kicking processed sugar, along with feeding your brain, nervous system and moods.
You have far more control over your health than you’ve been led to believe, and that absolutely includes your mental health. Fueling your body properly and avoiding chemicals that hijack your functions is vital to consider when addressing and optimizing your mental health.
You can follow Elaine @designyourhealthylife. You can also grab her free resource, 3 Ways to Enhance Your Mood, Energy and Focus to Get More Done.