Five habits to foster a healthy mind

Five habits to foster a healthy mind

One in five Australians will experience mental illness this year—yet there are steps that can be taken to lessen or avoid the symptoms, according to Mental Health Australia.

The organisation is urging people to take ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing as a lead-up to World Mental Health Day next week, through simple actions that may add up to make a big difference.

Naturopath, nutritionist and Lifestream wholefoods ambassador Janella Purcell shares her top recommendations to foster a healthy mind:

Feed the Brain

People who have the best quality diet have the lowest risk of development of depression and anxiety. One of the most important foods you can introduce to your diet is Omega-3.

Exercise Right

Those who are the most physically active seem to have the lowest risks of developing depression and anxiety. Why? Exercise releases feel-good chemicals including endorphins, which may help ease depression. Exercise can also reduce the chemicals that cause inflammation and often worsen depression—plus it helps to raise body temperature, which can calm things down.

Sleep Well

Many of us underestimate the value of getting enough good quality sleep, regularly. The optimal sleep schedule? Eight hours per night and one hour for daytime naps. Any less than the eight hours a day is likely to be add to toxic load, lead to damaging oxidative stress and inflammation.

Eat Calming Foods

There is some evidence to suggest that what you eat can help ease anxiety. Berries, whole grains, fish, dairy products, apples, oranges, bananas, herbal tea and dark chocolate have all been known to help calm the nerves.

Avoid Certain Foods

There are everyday habits that may contribute to an out-of-balance body and diminished mental health. Lessening or elminating the following may help to contribute to a better sense of wellbeing:

• White flour and other highly processed foods;
• Aspartame and other manmade sweeteners;
• Excessive sugar consumption. Too much sugar increases blood lactate levels, which is acid forming;
• Too much caffeine;
• Processed and refined salt. Choose Celtic sea salt or Himalayan instead.

Check out our healthy living section for more ways to ensure the best health for your family.