During the month of July, foodies all over the nation will celebrate Culinary Arts Month. While renowned restaurants and chefs celebrate the latest culinary creations and trends this month, all of us can embrace the art of food and its impact on our bodies and minds.
A nutritious diet will help keep your body fit and strong; but it can also help support a healthy mind. Our brains are always on the move, never taking a break, even when we’re sleeping. It’s important to support your brain so that it has the energy to respond to stress, process memories and power all the thinking you do throughout the day.
Have you ever been hangry? The combination of hungry and angry is a real, physiological reaction to not having enough energy (calories) for your brain to properly function. Your body begins to run on stress hormones that rob stored energy from your muscles to feed your brain, which can put you in “fight or flight” mode.
Everyone fuels their body differently, and there is no one style of eating that works for everyone. Whether you’re a traditional “three meals a day” eater, someone who partakes in intermittent fasting with a rigid schedule, or follow a philosophy of simply eating when your body tells you it’s ready for food, here are some general tips for eating to support mental health and brain function:
And of course, hydrate! And then hydrate some more. Drinking adequate amounts of water during the day delivers oxygen throughout the body, flushes body waste and toxins, and helps keep kidneys healthy. Dehydration can impact your overall mood and ability to concentrate and reason, while also causing headaches. Keeping a bottle of water with you throughout the day will not only help keep you from eating (when you think you’re hungry but are really just thirsty), but will help your brain do the work it needs to do to get you through your day.