The saying is as old as time, “A healthy body has a healthy mind,” and this is true the other way around, too! According to several studies, physical fitness and mental fitness have been linked together. The overall goal should be your body’s psychological and physical fitness rather than just one. Check out this article about how your physical health affects your mental health to gain more perspective.
One of the most essential and overlooked methods of fitness is diet regulation. People link mental wellness to therapy and positive mental stimulus, and dieting is related solely to weight loss. Most of us don’t know that regulating your diet is crucial to avert diseases and improve your health! Scroll below to read about effective diets that can have an incredible impact.
The Mediterranean Diet
As the name suggests, the diet plan is based on food that has been traditionally eaten in countries such as Italy and Greece. The Mediterranean diet focuses on vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, lentils, fruits and olive oil. Dairy products and poultry are to be eaten in moderation, and red meats are restricted, too.
The pattern of foods can be analyzed it the diet focuses on the main aim of reducing processed foods. Research links this minimally processed diet to a lesser risk of chronic diseases and a longer life. Some studies also link the Mediterranean diet to help prevent some cancers.
Another fun fact about the diet is that even though its goal is better health, it has also shown signs of weight loss. In some studies, the Mediterranean diet showed stronger weight reduction effects than a low-fat diet! The diet is rich in antioxidants, making it effective against inflammation and reducing oxidative stress.
The DASH Diet
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Research shows that hypertension is linked to heart attack and severe heart disease, making your arteries less elastic and decreasing oxygen flow to the heart. Hypertension is more commonly known by its symptom of high blood pressure, and the DASH diet is aimed to treat or prevent this condition. According to research from the NIH, hypertension can also affect mental health, as it can cause anxiety and elevated stress levels.
The diet promotes the consumption of large amounts of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. The diet limits the amount of sugar, salt, and fat one consumes daily. The DASH diet is not dedicated to weight loss, but there are reports that people who regularly follow this diet also experience weight loss. The DASH diet promotes vegetables, fruit, healthy carbs, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. Servings are defined based on the average calorie intake of a person.
The Mind Diet
Your brain is what defines you: your perspective, your beliefs, and your habits. Everything about you stems from where you are mentally, especially how healthy your brain is. The Mind Diet stands for the Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It is a hybrid diet plan that builds on the features of the Mediterranean and the DASH diet.
The Diet is not a tonic that will suddenly push your brain into a super-processing mode; it is a way to improve cognitive function gradually and slow the degeneration of brain cells. The mind diet meal plan focuses on green, leafy vegetables, non-starchy veggies, and servings of nuts among berries, fish, olive oil, nuts, whole grains, and poultry. The diet is incredibly effective against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It is reportedly better than other plant-based diets dedicated to improving cognitive function.
The Flexitarian Diet
This diet plan is a plant-based eating routine, but unlike vegetarianism and veganism, it allows minimal animal-based protein consumption. Typical vegetarian diets prohibit meats but usually allow dairy products and byproducts like honey. Unlike many other diet plans in this list, the flexitarian diet does not have strictly defined servings or calorie goals, making it more of a daily lifestyle than a short-term diet plan.
The main focus of the flexitarian diet plan is to focus most of your protein intake from plant-based sources, reducing processed foods and sugars. The diet promotes consuming fruits, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains. This diet is linked to preventing chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension as it is plant-based. People who follow the diet plan report better metabolic health and some weight loss benefits, too.
The Volumetrics Diet
The Volumetrics diet plan was made by a nutrition professor at Penn State University and is designed as a lifestyle change rather than a strict diet plan. The diet plan is aimed at helping you reduce toxins and excess fat from your body by introducing foods rich in water and limiting calorie-dense foods in your diet. The volumetric diet plan divides your food into low, medium, and high-calorie-dense foods.
Categories one and two, the very low and low calorie-dense foods, are the volumetrics diet’s main constituents. Categories three and four, namely medium and high-calorie dense foods, must be eaten in strict moderation. The volumetrics diet does not prohibit any food category and recommends a daily workout of 30 to 60 minutes. The diet encourages followers to eat foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals while being low in calories. This allows you to maintain your nutrition needs without excessive calories. As the diet limits processed foods, the risk of developing chronic diseases and cancers is reduced, too.
A good diet and a fit body go hand-in-hand with positive practices you can partake in to improve your mental health. While you get the physical ability and the proper nutrition to work on your mental health, being able to regulate your emotions and social wellness plays a crucial role, too. With a healthy diet and body, try to incorporate these practices to improve your mental health in your daily routine. While much more affects your mental health, and it is always good to consult a professional, the healthy steps discussed above can positively impact your day-to-day interactions.