Good health is composed of multiple components, or pillars for good physical and mental health. These pillars comprise
nutrition, movement, sleep and relaxation.
The lifestyle choices we make around what, when and how we eat, taking regular exercise, trying to get quality sleep and being able to wind down at the end of the day are all lifestyle choices and health decisions that most individuals can make on a daily basis.
Ideally, these four pillars for good health work in tandem to keep the mind and body healthy. The good thing is that we can start at any point in making small positive changes around these four pillars for good health, which over time will improve our health and the quality of our lives.
The choices we make around food and lifestyle choices can positively affect our healing capabilities. This does not contradict the utility of western medicine and mainstream therapies, instead, it can support these approaches and provide opportunities to prevent or treat the underlying cause of the illness and work towards finding a solution.
Put simply: Everything in the body and brain that isn’t made by the body itself is ‘imported’ from the food we eat.” We must keep our gut healthy to keep our body and brain healthy.
“As a society, we are comfortable with the idea that we feed our bodies, and much less aware that we’re feeding our brains too,”. “Parts of the foods we eat will end up being the very fabric of our body and brain. Most people are aware of how food fuels physical health but sometimes there is not the same awareness of the impact it has on our mental health"
There is currently a lot of research (see below) on gut- brain health. What we eat impacts our physical and mental health.
Our body is well equipped to deal with a stressful situation but when stress is constant and left unmanaged it can cause disease in the body and mind.
Stress also suppresses the immune and digestive system. Many vitamins and minerals are needed to support the body and brain during a stressful episode, particularly B vitamins. If we are constantly depleting our body of these vitamins and minerals because of un-managed stress and we don't replace them with a nutrient rich diet we can be left feeling physically and mentally depleted.
High-intensity exercise releases the body's feel-good chemicals called endorphins, resulting in the "runner's high" that joggers report, but research shows for most of us, the real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time.
That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better. "In people who are depressed, neuroscientists have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain—the region that helps regulate mood—is smaller. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression,"
Sleep ranks with diet and regular exercise as an essential component of a healthy life. Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health. And those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Although scientists are still trying to tease apart all the mechanisms, they've discovered that sleep disruption — which affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, among other things — wreaks havoc in the brain, impairing thinking and emotional regulation. In this way, insomnia may amplify the effects of psychiatric disorders, and vice versa.
Balance My Life programmes help clients to understand how these 4 pillars are connected, because, when you understand how food fuels your body and brain and the impact lifestyle choices have on your physical and mental health, it makes the journey to reach your health goals much easier.
(including weight loss if this is your health goal)
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This content is for information purpose only and should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.