The practice of mindfulness means being aware of what is happening within and around you in the present moment. This practice can be done while eating to enhance enjoyment and support digestive health.
When you practice mindful eating, you avoid distractions (like your phone) so you can fully notice and appreciate the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food. You'll chew more slowly with this practice, which benefits your digestion and satisfaction while eating. Mindful eating may also help you:
Read more about the practice to learn how it can impact your digestion, which can, in turn, contribute to positive mental health outcomes.
Mindful eating is a simple practice that you can do anytime, anywhere.
Exercise can help support digestive health and function in many ways:
The good news is that almost any exercise you enjoy can help your digestion. The Resilient Movement Plans are great a place to start if you don't have an exercise routine. There are also more targeted activities designed specifically to help your gut, wind relieving pose and abdominal self massage.
1. Wind Relieving Pose: This yoga posture can increase blood flow to the digestive system and facilitate colonic activity. Here's how to do it:
The brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are intimately connected and communicate constantly. Imbalances that have their origins in the GI tract can dramatically affect brain function and can cause or contribute to depression, anxiety, and inattention.
Studies over the past decade have established that, aside from the brain, the GI tract has more nerve cells than any other organ or system in the body. For this reason, the GI tract is sometimes called the “second brain.” Almost all of the neurotransmitters that are made in the brain are also manufactured in the GI tract, including 90% of the body's serotonin and 50% of its dopamine! The GI tract also houses approximately 70% of the immune system cells in the body. Additionally, our gut is home to billions of bacteria (and other organisms) that are designed to live in harmony with us. This internal world of organisms is called the "microbiome." Our gut bacteria help us make vitamins,...
Once you've incorporated the six principles of the Resilient Diet into your daily habits, you may be ready for these more in-depth practices to further enhance your mind-body health through nutrition. There's no need to adopt these suggestions all at once--you can pick and choose the ones that work for you.
Adjusting your eating habits is one of the simplest ways to naturally improve your mental health. Because you are already eating and drinking things every day to fuel your body and mind, you don't need to add anything new to your routine. Instead, focus on making changes and adjustments to your diet to ensure you are nourishing your system with foods that promote mental health.
We have created the Resilient Diet to integrate seamlessly into your daily life. It is not a set of restrictive rules or detailed recipes. Instead, the Resilient Diet is made up of six broad guidelines or principles. These principles can guide your nutrition whether you cook for yourself, cook for a family, or don't cook much at all.
Buy unprocessed organic food as much as possible.
Eat more seasonal and local foods. Discover new kinds of vegetables, grains, meats, nuts, and...
Did you know that specific nutritional deficiency may actually cause mental illness or exacerbate existing symptoms? This is because humans require a variety and certain level of basic vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and amino acids for proper brain function and to manufacture the necessary neurotransmitter levels (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) to maintain mental health.1,2 Without certain nutrients, it can literally be impossible for us to feel good--both mentally and physically.
Even if you eat a healthy diet, your body may still be missing certain key nutrients. A lot of fruits and vegetables have less nutrition in them today compared to their counterparts grown decades ago. This is mainly due to soil depletion as modern agricultural methods continue to strip nutrients from the soil.3 Prescription medications such as antacids, antibiotics,...
200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher
*If a posture feels painful, find another position to better suit your body's needs.
Spread your knees as wide as the mat, bring your big toes to touch. Reach your arms out far in front of you. Rest your forehead on the mat. Let gravity guide your hips towards your heals.
Optional: You can bring a...
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.”
-Anthelme Brillat Savarin, 1826
As far back as 1826, Savarin knew “we are what we eat,” and– more specifically– who we become. Functionally speaking, “food is information.”
Foods contain nutrients which provide directions to the systems of the body about how they will function, creating either positive or negative consequences. The nutrients we consume send messages to the brain and body about how it is going to behave. When we think of “food as information,” the focus becomes foods to include rather than foods to exclude.
The body and the mind are a connected, collaborative, community of interdependent systems. For example:
The following tips on how to eat more plant-based will not only satisfy your comfort food cravings in the cold fall and winter months, but nourish your body by helping you succeed in eating more whole foods.
The term plant-based has been buzzing around the internet of late and hopefully, we will continue hearing more about it as time passes. A whole food plant-based diet means that the food you consume is centered around an abundant variety of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, beans, fruit, nuts, and seeds while aiming to eat food as close to its whole form as possible (e.g. brown rice vs. white rice), choose organic as much as you can, and avoid processed food.
Whole food plant-based diets have been studied and appear to be among the healthiest ways of eating. Let me put it this way, very few people argue against adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet to make you healthier. But wait, a whole food...
Food has an amazing ability to affect your mental clarity, mood, memory, and your ability to focus and to feel calm. If you’re looking to boost your focus, one of the places you should start with is what you’re eating. Below are some general suggestions and specific foods that may help you improve your focus.
Eat Breakfast. Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Foods at the top of researchers' brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, protein, dairy, and fruits. Just don't overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.
Keep Regular Mealtimes. Your mid-day meal should be the largest if possible with a light meal at supper. Eat moderately, neither fasting nor indulging in large meals.
Relax. Take time to relax after eating. You'll digest better and feel more calm, satisfied, and ready to focus on your next task.
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