Today is National Food Day, and it’s all about helping people “eat real.” It’s a day to take a step back from consuming sugary drinks and packaged foods in favor of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You know, actual “food.” Not only can eating healthy help you lose weight, it can also help your brain. Eating healthy food has a ton of amazing psychological benefits that might surprise you. You know, because your brain probably doesn’t know about them, and brains tend to make you feel surprised when it reads something it didn’t previously know. It’s time to eat some carrots, an apple, and a couple slices of whole grain bread and find out what your brain has been missing out on all these years.
#5 Builds Your Self Esteem
Self-esteem usually starts with a positive body image, and eating healthy is obviously one of the key ways to achieving this. A healthy body image begins with healthy eating. “Self-esteem begins with our bodies,” wrote Shirley W. Kaplan, M.A., for the American Nutrition Association. “Since mind and body are one entity, the smooth, interrelated functioning of our body parts and our brain chemistry provide the foundation for an inherent sense of wellness.” If you like what you see in the mirror, your self-esteem will reward you with some serious mojo.
#4 Improves Your Overall Energy Level
According to the good folks at the Harvard Medical Center, a healthy diet also keeps your energy level high. If you start eating a more balanced diet that includes unrefined carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, with an emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils, you’ll start to see your energy levels increase. They also recommend eating tiny, frequent meals, eating a smaller lunch and avoiding crash diets.
#3 Increases Your Overall Brain Function
Eating foods that are rich in nutrients improves your brain function according to Web MD. The healthier you eat, the healthier your brain is which is why they recommend eating things like blueberries, wild salmon, fresh brewed tea, and dark chocolate so your brain can snack on those nutrients. Just don’t overdo it on the dark chocolate.
#2 Might Reduce Depression Symptoms
According to Healthline, the brain responds to what you eat and drink. just like any other organ. The brain needs essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to stay healthy and keep your mind sharp. If you don’t provide your brain of these essential nutrients, it can’t function properly and can raise your risk of mental health problems like depression. They recommend minerals like magnesium, selenium, zinc, amino acids, fatty acids, and a lot of water. It is important to note that a healthy diet isn’t a cure for clinical depression or mood disorders, however.
#1 Boosts Your Mood
Dartmouth has done extensive studies about the relationship between food and mood, and let’s just say their findings were a slightly complicated to say the least. Through several diet studies, they determined that the effect between food and mood varied dramatically depending on the person, so they recommend a well-balanced diet rich in protein, moderate in carbohydrates and low in fat since this could generally improve the mood of most people.