Many people suffer from both physical and mental issues ranging from chronic pain to depression and addiction, and many of them don’t want to rely on prescription medications of expensive professional therapies to help them manage. While there is a place for that in some cases, one of the best and most effective things you can do right now to help yourself is change your diet for the better.
Obesity is the leading cause of dozens of ailments
The benefits of losing weight stretch far beyond looking good in a bikini. Being obese is the leading cause of a wide range of health problems, and it’s one of the health conditions that’s well within your control. With a healthy diet, you can eliminate obesity and move toward a healthy weight.
Here’s a short list of conditions that obesity plays a role in: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver).
Obesity also plays a part in mental health issues like depression and anxiety. It puts a strain on muscles and joints, leading to chronic pain.
The point is, reducing your weight through a dietary change is the best thing you can do to address whatever ails you.
What you eat directly influences your mood
For those suffering from mental illness, eating the right food and avoiding the wrong food can be one of your best lines of defense. What you put in your gut is what powers your brain. If you’re giving your “engine” low-quality fuel, you’re going to see low-quality results.
One thing you can do immediately is ween yourself off refined sugars – including soft drinks, sweet tea, sugary cereals, and desserts. “Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression,”says Harvard Health. .
You can eat certain foods that contain vitamins and nutrients that have been shown to boost mental health. “Evidence suggests that certain nutrients in food may support emotional well-being. These include nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12,”notes FamilyDoctor.org.
Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, nuts, leafy greens, and low-fat dairy all fit the bill.
Trading healthy habits for unhealthy ones
Healthy eating is about discipline and control. Learning how to limit your food intake, avoid unhealthy (but tempting) foods, and stick to a plan all teach your brain that you have the power of self-control.
Turning to “comfort eating” to help cope with problems mimics the behavior of drug and alcohol addiction and can lead you down a bad path.
“Another problem with comfort eating is that it is just another way to avoid dealing with problems. It is similar to alcohol and drug addiction as it actually increases the problems that people will have to deal with,” says AlcoholRehab.com.
Healthy eating also reduces spikes in blood sugar, which has been shown to be a problem for those in recovery.
Before you invest in expensive treatments or turn to prescription medication to deal with your physical or mental ailments, you should reassess your diet and see if you can make some changes for the better. Start small. It may sound cliche, but Rome really wasn’t built in a day. A healthy diet is a lifestyle choice, not a weekly fad. The more you work healthy eating into your daily routine and make it a part of your life, the better you’ll be able to stick to it as the weeks, months, and years go by.
By: Guest Writer, Eric Johnson from Us Health Corps
The views of this author are not that of Exult Healthcare, and therefore, are the individual’s own views.