Natural Foods Your Counselor Would Most Likely Recommend

Food is the fuel that keeps our body moving up and about every day. It also gives our brain the energy to think and make decisions. Therefore, we need to be very mindful of what we eat if we want to be healthy in both body and mind.

During your next visit to your counselor, you might want to ask for natural food recommendations from them. Counselors are not just specialized in talking with you; they are also very familiar with other methods that can help improve your mental health. This includes even our daily meals.

The Relationship Of Food And Mental Health

A person’s diet is not just about physical health. Recent research suggests that diet plays an important role in a person’s mental health as well. The involvement of diet in counseling and therapy is more commonly known as nutritional psychiatry.

Eating is already connected to our mental state because of the pleasure we get from it. When we eat and get full, our body reacts by releasing dopamine for our brain. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria. That is why most people find pleasure in overeating. The good thing is, we don’t have to overeat our way into happiness. Below are natural foods your counselor is likely to recommend to help improve your mental health.

Boost Your Mood And Help With Depression

Source: pexels.com
  • Eggs

The protein in eggs contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid involved in the creation of proteins. It is mainly used by the body to produce melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps maintain a good sleep cycle, while serotonin is a hormone that stabilizes our mood and happiness.

  • Whole Grains

Carbohydrates are known to promote serotonin production. But is it enough to go and get any carb out there? Your counselor would most likely suggest you getting whole grains as a carb source. Aside from its tryptophan content, whole grains give you a fuller feeling which lasts longer than simple carbohydrates. Whole grains are great against hunger pangs. Brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and quinoa are examples of this food.

  • Pineapple

It might look very intimidating to prepare, but push yourself into exploring the many benefits of the pineapple. Known for the serotonin boost it gives, this sweet tropical fruit isn’t just there to refresh our taste buds. It’s also loaded with lots of vitamins and nutrients. Filled with vitamin C, pineapples help collagen formation, strengthen our immune system, and absorb iron. It is also a fantastic source of bromelain, good for osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases, among other diseases.

Keep Anxiety At Bay

  • Berries

If you are having trouble with anxiety and keeping your stress levels low, your counselor may recommend that you include berries in your diet. A lowered total antioxidant state is somewhat being correlated with anxiety. Packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, these little fruits help combat stress. The antioxidants found in berries are also helpful in reducing the risks of heart diseases and certain cancers.

  • Turmeric

A relative of ginger, turmeric, is usually found in its ground, powdered form. This bright yellow powder can be used as a spice in cooking, or you can create turmeric tea by dissolving it directly in hot water. Turmeric contains Curcumin, a bioactive compound that possesses anti-inflammatory qualities. Curcumin is also linked to producing serotonin and dopamine levels. Hence, it is highly suggested by counselors in controlling anxiety and depression. 

Source: pixabay.com
  • Chamomile Tea

Last on this list is the well-known tea for calming and relaxation. Chamomile, an herb with a daisy-like flower, is an Asian plant famous for its calm-inducing properties. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that promotes sleepiness and helps against insomnia. If you are experiencing anxiety attacks in the middle of the day, try brewing a cup of chamomile tea. It also helps with upset stomach and inflammation; it’s good to have this around the house or in your office. Also, chamomile contains no caffeine at all. So if you are trying to avoid, or reduce, caffeine intake, chamomile tea is highly recommended as an alternative.

Stay Focused

If you are having trouble focusing at school or work, there are certain foods your counselor can suggest to help you keep a sharp mind. Fatty fish are booming with omega-3 fatty acids. Mostly looked up for its benefit to heart health, omega-3 is also found to be very helpful in studying and keeping focus. The brain uses Omega-3 in creating nerve cells and maintaining normal brain function, which is related to learning and memory. Fatty fish includes salmon, sardine, and cod. Having two to three meals a week of fatty fish can keep a healthy brain in the long run.

  • Leafy Greens

It is no secret that eating leafy greens is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. What some might not know is that leafy greens also contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant metabolites that are thought to promote good memory, learning, and cognitive function. Leafy greens that contain the most amount of flavonoids are kale, parsley, and lettuce. Aside from mental boosts, flavonoids are also linked to protecting against certain cancers due to their antioxidant activity.

Source: pexels.com
  • Avocados

Last on this series of natural foods for mental health are avocados. These contain higher amounts of potassium than bananas. And they also help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But one particular component found in avocados is also beneficial for mental focus, and that is lutein. Lutein is a very important compound used by our brains, and multiple studies have linked a lutein-rich brain to good memory, learning, language, and executive functions. Although still in its preliminary studies, grabbing an avocado while on your study break still is a great alternative to processed snacks.

You might think that the food you eat would not impact your mental health. However, if you note what each food item can do for you and your body, you’ll know that food benefits us in many different ways. You’ll also know which foods to avoid to keep healthy. Please note the food items and their functions that we discussed, stay away from food that’s not good for you, and stay healthy!

How To Develop A Healthy Mind With Natural Food And Counseling

Source: pexels.com

There are no shortcuts to having a healthy mind. It will take consistent effort and well-thought-out decisions on your part to achieve this. But before anything, you have to understand first what your brain is and what it needs.

We often forget the brain is a part of our body. It’s as much an organ like any other that we have inside us. Naturally, the state of our mental well-being will depend on our lifestyle and habits. What we eat affects how our mind functions, as it affects our heart or lungs. What we do to alleviate stress on the brain will have its consequences as well.

Think about how you take care of your kidneys. Doctors will tell you to avoid alcohol and soda and to drink plenty of water instead. Similarly, there are also types of food better suited to help with your mental health. Remember what others tell you when you carry a heavy bag daily. Didn’t they suggest that you lessen the load to ease the stress off your back?

It’s the same when it comes to our minds. If we want to become healthy, we need to eat the right food and do the right things. There’s no silver bullet to solve our mental health problems instantly. However, there are choices we can make to move towards this goal.

Source: pexels.com

Go Natural For Your Brain

Just like with our other organs, we also need to eat clean to have a healthy mind. Avoid processed food and opt for healthier alternatives. Eating good food will improve your overall health overall and will also affect how you feel.

Natural foods include vegetables, fruits, seeds, herbs, seafood, meat, and whole grains. They have properties capable of regulating mood, curbing depression, and aiding in nutrient absorption. In addition, some of these foods can also regulate energy levels and encourage increased brain activity.

On the other hand, processed foods and sugar can cause inflammation within your body and brain. This can then contribute to mood disorders and hyperactivity. Studies have also shown that a terrible diet can exacerbate depression and may cause unusual energy fluctuations.

A diet consisting of processed and junk food is bound to mess with your stomach too. When you experience the stress caused by your unbalanced diet, it subdues the bacteria in your gut. Gut bacteria produce serotonin or mood stabilizers in our bodies. Processed foods, flour, and sugar can also cause cravings, making you consume them even more.

You don’t need to go on a crazy and limited diet. Start by being more mindful of what you eat and even when you eat. Then, try to focus on how you feel when you eat healthy foods. You can change your diet little by little, like going for an apple instead of a candy bar. If you feel unsure, remember that you can never go wrong with the healthier option.

Source: pexels.com

Counseling For A Lighter Mind

Caring for your mental wellbeing is a multi-step process. Along with being mindful of what you eat, you should also pay attention to the mental weight you bear. After all, bananas and oranges alone can’t save you from thoughts you’re drowning in.

Your struggles are a big part of your life, but they don’t define you. However, since we often associate resilience and independence with strength, we tend to just power through our internal struggles. Sometimes we resort to ignoring the problem. Other times, we busy ourselves with distractions and other commitments. These will do nothing but worsen how you feel.

It’s okay to ask for help. It might be obvious, yet some people choose not to get help because they think they’ll look weak. But they couldn’t be further from the truth.

Seeking a counselor is a sign of strength. When you decide to resolve your struggles, you commit to helping yourself. And counselors are there to guide you through your process of healing.

No matter the nature of your mental health challenges, they will be there with you the entire way. They’ve trained to help people face different obstacles, and they’ll aid you just like they’ve done with others. With their advice, you’ll be able to resolve your problems and take a step closer to a calmer mind.

The journey won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Just think of finally shedding all the baggage you carry after properly coming to terms with it. And imagine the peace of mind it will bring you. Seeing a counselor will be a step in the right direction towards a healthy mind.

To Wrap Up

The way to a healthy mind isn’t a one-step process. Like most other things, it involves identifying where you lack and what you need to improve on. There’s also no single track that would tell you exactly how to solve your problems. However, there are two things you can do to ensure you’re going the right way.

The first is to eat right. The brain is an organ, and you should treat it as such. Stray from processed foods and opt instead for healthier alternatives. Go with natural options that can help you both physically and mentally. It also wouldn’t hurt that those can regulate your mood and help maintain your energy levels.

For the second, see a counselor. Some struggles and challenges weigh us down so much it starts to affect our daily lives. When you find yourself constantly worrying, go to a counselor. Ask for help when things become heavy and overwhelming. Go to counseling when you’re confused and frustrated.

We should treat our mental welfare with the same respect and seriousness we treat our physical wellbeing. And we should be just as concerned about our minds as we are about our hearts. Our mental health should not be secondary to anything. After all, how can we live contently if our brain is not in the right place?

Take care of your mental health. Because really, what’s a fit body if your mind is unhealthy? They should go hand in hand, and we shouldn’t treat them as unrelated entities.