Eating well for mental health

Nutritious food is absolutely vital in everyone’s daily life! It is integral to social and cultural inclusion, traditions, heritage, and creativity.

Nutritious food ...

  • Gives us energy to get us through our day
  • Fuels our body – providing building blocks for bones, muscles, hair, nails and skin
  • Fuels our mind – boosting mood, energy, focus, memory and wellbeing
  • Supports our immune function
  • Prevents and manages chronic disease, and impacts our quality of life.

Learn more on HealthLink BC website.

What we drink is also important, as non-sugar-sweetened beverages (such as water) ...

  • Help move nutrients and waste through the body
  • Keep blood pressure normal
  • Protect and cushion joints and organs
  • Control body temperature

Learn more from UnlockFood.ca

Did you know that how you eat can have an impact on your:

1. Mood

Being dehydrated and/or ‘hangry’ can impact your mood and make you irritable.

2. Energy levels

Glucose is the preferred source of fuel for the brain. Energy helps you focus and enhances your cognition.

3. Ability to cope with stress

Restricting food may alter cortisol secretion. Cortisol is a hormone secreted in response to stress.

4. Risk of chronic disease

Antioxidants minimize oxidative stress. Oxidative stress leads to DNA damage which can lead to chronic disease.

Learn more from Dietitians of Canada

Here are some tips to navigate challenges to healthy eating:

Challenges to Healthy Eating

Solutions to Healthy Eating

Time

Meal plan (make it yourself, or use an online option)
Prep your food in advance

Effort

Become an efficient grocery shopper, or grocery shop online
Keep your pantry stocked with easy-to-grab options

Cost

Make food at home instead of getting food from restaurants or fast food chains
Check the unit price at the grocery store

Food Skills

Label read to compare products to help make the healthier choice
Learn how to use kitchen tools that you haven’t used before by watching YouTube videos or asking friends/family, or find hacks to make prep in the kitchen easier

Nutrition mis-information

 Choose information from Registered Dietitians
Unlockfood.ca
Health Canada
Healthlink BC

By Julie Stachiw, MPH, RD Manager, Nutrition and Wellbeing UBC Okanagan

About Julie:

Julie Stachiw is a Registered Dietitian who is passionate about creating a supportive food environment to help with health and wellbeing outcomes. She has worked in a variety of RD roles, has been involved in a variety of community and national initiatives. Julie believes in the power of food to enhance lives and improve health. She loves being a part of the exciting food and nutrition world at UBCO. 

Tagged

  • HR News
  • Wellbeing
  • Healthy UBC

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