We’re only a few months in, but hopefully 2023 is shaping up to be a great year. And all of us at The Calli Institute hope you’re still going strong with your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the many who chose to amend eating habits and discover a new you in the new year, we have great news. The partnership between nutrition and wellness can help you look and feel better — and it can also benefit your overall well-being. Keep reading to uncover ways to nourish wellness and improve mental health.

Benefits of Healthier Eating

A healthier lifestyle often begins with healthier eating, but eating better doesn’t have to happen overnight. Gradual dietary adjustments can help you better stick to a new routine, since you’re not making major changes all at once. And feeling or seeing the results along the way is a motivator to keep going.

In addition to feeling better and having more energy, other benefits to eating more nutrient-rich foods include:

  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Healthier skin and teeth
  • Lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
  • Weight loss and maintenance

What’s more, healthier eating promotes digestive health, which we’ll get to in a moment. And eating better may even help you live longer.

Trust Your Gut

Believe it or not, there’s a reason people make decisions based on gut reactions. Have you ever felt nervous and gotten “butterflies” in your stomach? That’s because the stomach and the brain are interconnected.

The enteric nervous system (ENS) is your gut’s own nervous system, often called a “second brain.” The ENS controls digestion and facilitates communication with the brain through a corridor of neurotransmitters. This connection is why we “feel” things like stress, anxiousness, and excitement in our gut.

Furthermore, most of the body’s serotonin — the feel-good chemical that carries messages between the brain and the body — is found in the gut. A healthy digestive system promotes the production of serotonin, which in turn influences how the body processes nutrients and blocks out toxins.

So, it stands to reason that a healthier diet can help improve mood and boost wellness.

Feeding Wellness

The body is like a machine, and food is its fuel. The better-quality fuel you put into your body, the better your body will feel, act, and react. If you made changes to your diet to start the year, perhaps you’ve already noticed improvements — to your body, your energy levels, and your mental health.

While it’s easy to reach for comfort foods or pick-me-up snacks, they can make us feel sluggish, tired, or listless. Simple carbohydrates like chips and crackers, candy, or sweetened cereals cause blood sugar to spike. This initially provides a quick boost of energy that then leads to fatigue.

Additionally, fast food and processed and ready-made foods contain a lot of artificial ingredients, sodium, and trans fats — or “bad” fats. These types of foods decrease the production of serotonin, which can negatively affect mood.

Upgrade your diet to feed wellness and improve your overall well-being by incorporating nutrient-rich foods such as:

  • Proteins. Lean meats, soy products, eggs, cheese, and beans are high in protein, which contains amino acids. These chemicals help the brain regulate emotions.
  • Leafy greens. Broccoli, kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce are high in folic acid, which helps fight fatigue and depression.
  • Omega-3s. Fish, nuts, and flax seed contain omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain and heart health.
  • Whole grains. Complex carbohydrates like oats, brown rice, and whole wheat help balance serotonin levels while providing energy and fuel for the brain.
  • Probiotics. Yogurt, sauerkraut, and pickles contain active cultures that promote gut health. These foods have also been known to help reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Path to Wellness

These are just some of the ways you can nourish wellness and improve mental health. Your path to wellness is a unique journey. If you’ve already started, we hope you keep going. But if you want to find your path or need help staying the course, The Calli Institute’s skilled team of professionals can help. Reach out to us and share your goals. We are happy to determine a course to help you achieve them.

Share Post:

Ready to start feeling like your best self again?