Nutrition, Diet, and Wellness – What’s the Connection?

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Nutrition, Diet, and Wellness -What’s the Connection?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” It likely refers to the concept that our level of nutrition is connected to our health. Eat poorly and sooner or later, you’ll feel terrible. Most people only see one side of the coin and focus on how eating can affect their weight. But there’s more to eating well than the pounds you gain or lose. What we eat can affect our mood and energy levels.

Food, Gut Health, and Mental Health

There’s a food-mood connection between what you eat and how you feel. A whole new field of nutritional psychiatry is exploring the effects that food has on your mental well-being. Promoting healthy gut bacteria is essential to promote better moods. The gastrointestinal tract is lined with nerves that release hormones that trigger hunger, anxiety, and stress.

For anyone who’s ever felt “hangry,” that feeling of supreme annoyance or anger when you’re hungry, there may be some logic behind that feeling. It’s important to eat well to promote a healthy gut. Consider adding more of the following nutrients to your diet:


That same article from Rider University mentioned above explains that proteins contain nitrogen which reduces the bad bacteria in the gut. Besides the gut-promoting effect, a diet of lean proteins may boost your mood by releasing the feel-good hormone, serotonin. 

Even if you’re vegetarian, there are good sources of protein available. In addition, many protein-rich foods also contain collagen, which is excellent for skin and hair. The best types of protein include the following:

  • Poultry, lean beef, and fish
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Broccoli and Brussel sprouts
  • Eggs, milk, and yogurt
  • Nuts


Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is essential to our health but not produced by our bodies. You’ll need to eat fatty acid-rich foods or take a supplement. Omega-3 has many mental-health-related benefits including improved gut biome diversity and better cognitive function. The one issue is getting enough Omega 3. You can take a supplement to increase your intake of the fatty acid, or try eating more of the following foods:

  • Flax seeds and walnuts
  • Cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel

Try Natural Mood Boosters to Improve Your Wellness

Eating nutritiously improves your overall sense of well-being. Certain foods are natural mood boosters — berries and chocolate bring a smile (and a craving) to most people who think about them. The next time you’re craving something you know isn’t good for you, blend up a berry and yogurt shake. The combination of protein from the yogurt is great for your gut’s health, and the antioxidants and flavonoids from berries energize your body and your mind.

Other potent mood boosters are CBD and hemp oils. What makes them a great addition to your kitchen is the fact that you can cook with them. Use CBD oil on raw or lightly cooked foods. To mask the flavour, pair it with bolder ingredients that could hide the CBD oil flavour. 

If you don’t like the flavour of CBD, mix it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and berries for a fresh salad dressing. As for hemp oil, the aroma is earthy and nutty. Use it alone or blend it with your favourite herbs to use as a dip for fresh bread or as a light pasta topping.

Foods to Avoid

There are foods, many of which we love, that are not good for our moods and well-being. If you love coffee and tea, the bad news is they negatively affect your gut health. 

Caffeine-rich foods and drinks such as coffee and tea also affect you in other ways. They stain your teeth and negatively impact your energy levels. You may have a temporary energy boost when you drink coffee or tea, but after a couple of hours, you’ll experience a caffeine crash that could leave you feeling tired and irritable. 

Putting your body through the energy rollercoaster of caffeine boosts and withdrawals taxes your adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located over your kidneys and are responsible for the hormones that control how you cope with stress. Too much dependence on stimulants may lead to adrenal fatigue. Studies have yet to conclude if adrenal fatigue is a real diagnosis, but for many people suffering from exhaustion, brain fog, and other unexplainable side effects, reducing their coffee and sugar intake improves their well-being.

Good Nutritional Choices and Overall Wellness Can Be Noticed

One of the first signs of an improved gut from making better eating choices is your skin’s condition. They say the skin is the largest organ; healthy skin often reflects a healthy diet. Being mindful of what you eat can improve the way you look. But just as importantly, it could lift your spirits and improve your mood. And when you feel good inside, you emanate a glow that others will notice.


Adrian Johansen writes to share her knowledge with the world.

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