Have you experienced the effects of coffee on your energy levels and mood? And what about chocolate? As crazy as it can sound, your gut and your brain are connected, and ANYTHING that affects your gut health will affect how your brain functions too. Thus, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential not just to keep your body functioning well but also your mind.

But, what does a “healthy and balanced diet” mean? Well, in general, a healthy and nutrient-dense diet is the one that includes mainly whole foods like veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, and legumes, lots of colours, and shared meals with someone close to your heart.

However, we all know that achieving a perfectly healthy and balanced diet can be tricky sometimes because of factors like time and budget. Nevertheless, simple changes can make a huge difference!

Want to know more? These 4 tips will help you improve your mood, your diet and productivity all at the same time:

  1. Add more veggies and legumes to your day

    Try to add veggies or legumes to each meal of your day. They are full of fibre and will keep you satisfied for longer, and your gut will love it! Plus, they will give your brain the energy needed to stay active. For example, add grated carrots to your oatmeal, peas to your rice or canned beans to your pasta. Yum!

  2. Eat a rainbow

    A good tip to know if you are eating enough variety of foods is checking in every meal if you have at least 3 different colours that come from whole foods. Different colours mean different nutrients and minerals for your body. Here is an example of foods and colours:

    • Yellow: Bananas, Corn, Yellow peppers, pineapple
    • Purple: Beetroot, cabbage, eggplant, grapes
    • Red: Tomato, capsicum, apples
    • Green: Broccoli, kale, spinach, zucchini, kiwi
    • Blue: Blueberries
    • Orange: Carrots, oranges, tangerines, pumpkin
    • White: Cauliflower, mushrooms
    • Pink: Strawberries, raspberries

    The more colours, the more nutrients and flavours, yum!

  3. Add some fats

    Nuts, seeds, and oils are a great source of energy and nutrients that help protect the brain.  Try adding some avocado or pumpkin seeds to your toasties or sprinkle a little bit of olive oil to your spaghetti. Yum!

  4. Share a meal

    Nourish your heart and your soul with beautiful company. Sharing a meal with a loved one at least once a day can help you improve your mood and relax. Additionally, it makes you eat slower, which is excellent for your gut and enjoy your food more. Who are you sharing your next meal with? Yum!

Finally, remember that it is not about restricting foods but adding more good ones!

Want to know more about healthy food and recipes? Here’s more wisdom from the YFM blog:

Makie Fuse