Healthy Eating for Mind & Body
“The groundwork for all happiness is good health.”
American culture has room to improve in both our mental and physical health. According to the CDC, the percentage of adults aged 18 and over with regular feelings of worry, nervousness, or anxiety is 11.7%. More than 130 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes in the United States and 42.4% of Americans are obsese. The American diet is often depleted of essential vitamins and minerals needed to live full and healthy lives. This depletion is having severe impacts on our energy, our happiness, and our culture.
As you continue to build a healthy lifestyle, consider these ideas to improve your health.
Eat the Rainbow
Eating the rainbow, or selecting fruits and vegetables of a multitude of colors, has multiple benefits. A variety of fruits and vegetables are rich with antioxidants, which help prevent cancer, improve skin conditions, strengthen bones, assist with healthy development, decrease inflammation and more. This article from the Food Revolution Network shares fun diagrams on the power of different colorful foods. If you look at your plate, how many colors are represented?
Creating meals with color doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider blending a smoothie with coconut water, banana, an orange, berries and spinach for a healthy treat. Or pull together a salad with kale, butternut squash, blackberries and feta cheese. Wraps full of carrots, peppers, cabbage and hummus are a quick, tasty lunch that won’t break the budget. We often share simple meal ideas on our Instagram stories that are both colorful and nutritious, so make sure you’re following us.
Choose whole foods
Tara Gidus RD, recently shared with WebMd, “When you eat whole foods, you're getting the food in its natural state. You're getting it intact, with all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food. Basically, it's the healthy whole food, rather than the bits that remain after refinement and processing. It's the difference between an apple and apple juice, or a baked potato and mashed potatoes.”
Not all processed food is bad for you, however. Canned beans, greek yogurt, hummus, nut butters, and iron-fortified cereals are perfect examples of nutritious refined foods! When you’re making your choices, stay away from highly processed foods with additives. Kelly Kennedy, RDN, says, “You can easily identify these foods because they come prepackaged and have a long list of ingredients you’ve never heard of that are often difficult to pronounce. These foods can contain a lot of added sugar and sodium, two nutrients that Americans are eating too much of.”
One helpful tip when grocery shopping is to stick to the outside aisles of the store. Whole foods including raw fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, and meats and fish are often placed on the periphery of the store, while more manufactured and processed foods are in the center aisles. If you focus on gathering foods from the outside aisles, you’re more likely to select foods with more vitamins, fiber, and nutrients that nourish the body rather than deplete your energy.
Add probiotics to your diet
Our bodies have a mix of good bacteria and bad bacteria. When you get an infection, you want the good bacteria and yeast to fight off the bad. Probiotics help restore good bacteria to your intestines and digestive tract which can aid in digestion and improve your immune system. It is believed that as much as 70% of the body’s immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract, making it critical in the overall operation of your immune system. You may consider taking a daily probiotic if you want to boost your immune system, improve your overall mood and digestive regularity. Taking probiotics can also double the immunoglobulin compounds in breastmilk, thus improving the immune system of your little one as well.
Here is a list of common probiotic strains and benefits that they are known for:
L. Plantarum for anxiety, depression, eczema, and sharpened memory
L. Paracasei for immunity, anti-inflammation, and improved digestion
L. Casei for acne, ear infections, ulcerative colitis, lyme disease, stomach ulcers, UTIs and yeast infections
L. Acidophilus for reduced cholesterol, preventing and reducing diarrhea
Bifidobacterium Lactis for healthy digestion, improved immune function, and mineral absorption
L. Rhamnosus for reduced IBS symptoms, improved gut health, protection against colon cancer and even cavities
Probiotics are easy to find at natural grocery stores and can be taken orally in capsule, tablet or powder-form. Probiotics can also be found naturally in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, fermented pickles, and yogurt. Aspen Ketamine Center does offer nutrition counseling so you can learn how to balance prebiotics with probiotics in food as well as discover the right supplements for you.
Mellow out with magnesium
You can experience less stress with magnesium, just as nature intended. Avocado, dark chocolate, bananas, and nuts are all rich with magnesium. Magnesium can help you relax and feel calmer so you can better manage everyday stress. When you feel stressed your nervous system releases hormones that cause muscles to tense, your heart to pound rapidly, and your breathing to quicken. Magnesium works to relieve muscle tension, dramatically improving the way you feel. Magnesium also promotes digestive regularity, relieves restlessness and cramps, and improves sleep.
Magnesium supports over 300 functions in the body and is the 4th most common mineral in our anatomy, making magnesium one of the most important minerals. Unfortunately, it's also estimated that 75% of Americans are deficient in magnesium due to our over processed food chain. Magnesium is a wonderful supplement for whenever you need to relax; and for a blissful night of rest, you may consider finding single serving packets of magnesium so you can easily add it to a glass of water in the evening. Magnesium drink mixes can be taken in addition to your daily vitamin.
While the statistics are rather depressing, we can take action to care for both our mental and physical health. Nourishing ourselves can take many forms. As we move about our days, it is important to remember that what we take in influences our bodies and our spirits.
The team at Aspen Ketamine Center can help you on your road towards wellness either through nutrition counseling and/or through vitamin therapy. Our Soothe Vitamin Infusion is enriched with calcium, magnesium, and the essential B vitamins- perfect for managing stress and improving health. We understand the value of investing in a healthy lifestyle, and want to partner to help those who are struggling. Healthy eating for mind and body is all part of the process.