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May 4, 2020

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Whether you are a mum, a dad, a student or a CEO there has never been a greater time for Positive Mental Strength. We’ve got some top Mental Fitness Food Hacks for you to ensure optimal mental strength.

Over 90% of us are learning a new routine and that requires discipline, all things new and unknown require mental fitness and a positive mindset to succeed. We need to have a mentally fit mind if we are going to create a structure to our workday, home school our children, and heck, even set boundaries on how often we go to the pantry.

There are many factors to improving our positive mental fitness mindset – mediation, sleep, exercise, illnesses and even genetics…but there is one fundamental factor that influences all of these factors. It’s food and it’s nutrients. I would like you to consider the following

  • Mediation – how are we able to meditate, be present or mindful if we are on a sugar swing from picking up healthy-looking foods packed with hidden sugar
  • Sleep – whole real foods rich in protein like fish, grass-fed meats, dairy, cheese, legumes breakdown to an amino acid called tryptophan which is a precursor to our sleep hormone called melatonin
  • Exercise – ask yourself are you more like to exercise after a good night sleep and do you really feel like exercise after too much food or food that doesn’t make you feel strong, positive and energised?
  • Genetics – did you know that you should not let your genes affect your jean size or your mental resilience. Research is showing stronger links between a positive mindset and a healthy body and brain rather than looking at your genetic history. In other words, we can influence our genes by what we eat.

Does food affect my mood is no longer an unanswered question.

New research has shown for the first time that the part of the brain used for learning, memory and mental health is smaller in people with unhealthy diets. The results of the study by researchers at Deakin University and the Australian National University (ANU) suggest that older Australians with unhealthy diets have smaller hippocampi – the hippocampus is a part of the brain believed to be integral to learning, memory and mental health. It has also shown that older people with healthier diets have larger hippocampi. The professors of this study said that as the negative impact of unhealthy foods on the waistline of the population grows, so does the evidence suggesting that our brain health is also affected.

Where do you get started with feeding your brain for positive mental strength?

Here are Michele Chevalley Hedge’s top three mental fitness food hacks.

  1. Only eat whole, real food. Not packaged or processed or as minimal as possible. Why? Because real, whole food has an abundance of vitamins and essential fatty acids which are imperative for happy neurotransmitters like serotonin. And real, wholefood doesn’t have added sugar which is a culprit in mood swings.
  1. When eating real whole food consider eating a bit of protein, good fat, and some smart carb in every meal. Why? Protein keeps your blood sugar balanced which is key to energy for the entire day. Good fats are an excellent source of reducing inflammation, providing satiations, and dampen down sugar craving. And smart carbs? They are not called smart, slow carbs for nothing as they are our main fuel source for our thinking, productive, decision making brain.
  • Quality Protein – fish, chicken, grass-fed beef, dairy, legumes, seeds and nuts, cold-water fish like salmon, trout, seeds and nuts
  • Good Fat – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Nut oils, Nut butters,
  • Smart Carbs – root vegetables like sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth
  1. Stay hydrated. Drink water with lemon, lime and splashes of squeezed fruit. Become addicted to herbal teas and drink them hot or cold. Too many people confuse hunger for thirst. Before you go on your next impulsive grab and go of food ask yourself if your hungry or thirsty. Drink a big glass of water and then if you still hungry 10 minutes later make a wise decision on what will satisfy your stomach, feed your brain and empower your wellbeing.

What are your favourite foods for top mental fitness? Tell us in the comments below.

Michele Chevalley Hedge is a nutritional medicine practitioner, wellbeing author, media personality, and Cure Cancer Ambassador. Her Low Sugar Lifestyle Online Program begins on 27 April.

Michele-Chevalley-Hedge

 

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  • Oh how I wish we could still follow your post. I could, but my husband being on dialysis cannot. So all those smart carbs, nuts and legumes, green leafy veg and high hydration go right out the window when you are allowed no more than 1 litre of liquid, preferably 500mils, per day and all the rest you mention are so high in potassium or phosphorus that it’s out of bounds too. Bring back my good old days!!!!

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  • I usually have a salmon fillet once a week as it’s got lots of omega 3 and it makes for a fast and easy weeknight meal with a side of vegetables. I’m usually not great at eating whole foods as I’m not very creative with vegetables so I need something super tasty like salmon to make it more interesting.

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  • Great read with some constructive healthy advice

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  • Fascinating post – and eating all these good foods has abetter effect on aging well too – so it should be done for the whole of life. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  • I don’t eat a well balanced diet at all! My mood, not that great. My husband doesnt eat a well balanced diet (although slightly better than mine) he is happy and cheerful all the time! Our children eat extremely well, lots of fruit and vegetables, minimal sugary foods. Miss six gets awful mood swings, and mr four is usually happy but that can change quicker than you turn on a light switch! A well balanced diet keeps you healthy and gives you energy, which CAN make your mood much better but it’s not the be all to end all.

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  • Oh yesss, I need to pin this on my kitchen wall as a constant reminder.

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  • Keeping things as unprocessed as possible, i.e. drinking water and eating a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables.

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  • Yep we all need these reminders every few months… Good one.

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  • I need to improve our choice of foods, so this is an interesting read.

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  • We’re not doing this too well. Trying to keep to a food routine but… the days are long and the snacks are interesting!!

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  • Great information I need to follow.

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  • These are some great tips and ones I should also follow. Unfortunately I have an addiction to all the wrong types of food.

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  • Blueberries, nuts, seeds (in particular flax seeds and chia seeds) quinoa, freekeh, spinach…

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  • I have been planning our meals more now that we are home more and have found myself naturally drawn to more natural foods. It wasn’t something I specifically wanted to do as we already had a healthy diet, but I strongly believe that we are all better for it. I have always drunk a lot of water and this has not changed although I prefer it as is

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  • My family transitioned to a mainly plant based diet over 2 years ago (I do cook the occasional meat dishes for the kids upon their request, which is rare), and have found our mental health has stabilised as we are eating whole foods with the rare treat.

    We highly recommend it.

    Reply

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