To look good on the outside, it’s important to feel good on the inside. It is quite simple… For instance, if you had an upset stomach, you’d feel uneasy and that would reflect on your face. So, protecting your body with a balanced diet with the right food choices is essential. Here are some ways you can boost your overall health to feel good inside out.
1. Enhance Brain Functions With Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Diet can affect multiple brain processes, and omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, are important for brain development. A deficiency in this nutrient has been associated with an increased risk of mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.1 These fatty acids are also essential for memory and learning.2
Sources: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines; nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts; and oils like canola oil, walnut oil, mustard oil, and soybean oil
2. Protect Your Eyes With Beta-Carotene
Beta-carotene gives fruits and vegetables their vibrant orange and yellow colors. In the body, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, which is essential for vision and eye health.3 Along with beta-carotene, nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin are believed to protect the eyes from sun damage and may reduce the risk of age-related diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.4
Sources: Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards; root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes; fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel
3. Own A Happy Heart With Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help to reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing the risk of heart diseases.5 Your heart can enjoy the benefits of these healthy fats when eaten in moderation. These essential nutrients support your heart health and allow it to beat healthily.
Sources: Olive oil and avocados for monounsaturated fats and corn oil, sunflower oil, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds for polyunsaturated fats
4. Keep Your Stomach Active With Probiotics
An upset stomach can make you feel uneasy all day long. But, all it takes to strengthen your stomach are some probiotics, microorganisms that increase the number of good bacteria and fight the bad ones. A poor stomach can be the cause of stress, anxiety, or even depression because the gut and brain are connected intimately.6 Therefore, keeping your stomach healthy keeps your brain healthy, too.
Sources: Yogurt, tempeh, miso, natto, kombucha, kefir, and kimchi
5. Strengthen Your Bones With Calcium
Your body needs calcium for healthy bones. This nutrient allows the bones, cells, and nerves to work normally.7 Since your body cannot make calcium on its own, the only way to get enough calcium is through foods. Maintaining your bone health at an early age will help prevent bone loss and brittle, fragile bones as you get older. So, eat up!
Sources: Milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and fortified foods like cereals and fruit juices
6. Boost Your Mood With Proteins
Proteins are essential brain foods that can improve sharpness, memory, and boost your mood. They affect brain performance because they supply amino acids that make the neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters carry messages or signals from the brain cells to different parts of the body to carry out individual tasks.8 Eating good sources of proteins that contain tryptophan can boost the levels of serotonin and dopamine as well as boost energy, reduce anxiety, and regulate pain, eventually leading to mental clarity.
Sources: Lean meat, eggs, oily fish like salmon, nuts like almonds, seeds, dairy products like cottage cheese, tofu, beans, and legumes
7. Get Radiant Skin With Vitamin C
Collagen is a protein that maintains the elasticity of your skin. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C and its role in the production of the collagen makes vitamin C an essential nutrient for healthy skin.9 Eating vitamin C-rich foods benefit you by reducing wrinkles and age-related skin dryness and make your skin look radiant.10
Sources: Fruits like kiwi, oranges, lemons, papaya, mango, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, green and red peppers, and turnip greens
Use these natural and inexpensive approaches to create a healthier you, both inside and out, and remember to exercise regularly to double the feel-good factor in your life.
|↑1||Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando. “Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, no. 7 (2008): 568-578.|
|↑2||Waitzberg, Dan L., and Priscila Garla. “Contribution of omega-3 fatty acids for memory and cognitive function.” Nutricion hospitalaria 30, no. 3 (2014): 467-477.|
|↑3||Beta-carotene. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑4||5 Top Foods for Eye Health. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.|
|↑5||Polyunsaturated Fat. American Heart Association.|
|↑6||The gut-brain connection. Harvard Medical School.|
|↑7||Calcium and bones. MedlinePlus.|
|↑8||Journel, Marion, Catherine Chaumontet, Nicolas Darcel, Gilles Fromentin, and Daniel Tomé. “Brain responses to high-protein diets.” Advances in Nutrition: an international review journal 3, no. 3 (2012): 322-329.|
|↑9||Vitamin C and Skin Health. Oregon State University.|
|↑10||Pullar, Juliet M., Anitra C. Carr, and Margreet Vissers. “The roles of vitamin C in skin health.” Nutrients 9, no. 8 (2017): 866.|