The Connection Between Physical and Mental Health

Nothing new to me but good to hear the confirmation again and again!

One of the oldest myths in psychology is that our minds are separate from our bodies. Today, however, there is an overwhelming amount of research that shows how our mental health is directly influenced by our brains and biology.

A big part of this influence comes from what we inherit from our genes, which we don’t have much control over. However, diet and exercise also play an important role in maintaining a healthy body and healthy mind – and those are things that we do have the power to change.

What you eat affects your brain.

High-powered brain foods are rich in complex carbohydrates (your brain’s primary source of energy), fiber (which improves absorption of necessary vitamins and minerals), lean protein (for building new neurotransmitters), and unsaturated fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids, which improve cognitive abilities).

You can satisfy most of these nutritional needs by following a healthy diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and high-quality meat and fish.

Fish, eggs, and grass-fed meats. Nuts and seeds. Whole grains. Many fruits and vegetables.  Water. Coffee or tea.

Exercise improves mental health and cognitive ability.

One finding was that exercise during childhood led to a faster rate of cognitive development. Children who were physically inactive tended to perform worse on academic exams and neuropsychological tests, while children who exercised showed improvements in memory, attention, and decision-making.

Minimize alcohol, cigarettes, and drug use.

via The Connection Between Physical and Mental Health.

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