Mental Space: The Importance of Good Food

We all eat. It’s a fact and a necessity of life. But have you ever considered the importance of good, healthy food and its impact on your mental health?

Good days and bad days are normal, but how are you coping with stressful situations? Are you stress eating an entire package of Oreos or are you chowing down on some carrot sticks? Now, I understand that carrot sticks might not be your go to when you’re stressed out, and that’s okay!

Not everyone likes fruits and vegetables all the time, but it’s important to make sure you’re including them in your meals. I understand that it’s not always fun to sit down and eat some broccoli, but it’s better for you than strictly eating McDonald’s all the time.

In my experience, eating healthy foods is actually better for my mental health than just eating junk all the time. Yeah, a bar of chocolate tastes good and will boost my mood when I’m stressed out, but it’s not going to fill me up the way that a nice bowl of sesame chicken and some rice will. And if I eat a salad or something with protein, I tend to feel a little better about myself.

I’m not saying go pig out on grilled chicken from the CDR. We all know that it’s not the best food in the world, but it’s better than just eating pizza or fries from the CDR every day. You’re going to feel better if you eat chicken, rice or something healthy. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, it’s important to realize that you’re going to eat a lot of good food in the coming weeks. But you need balance in what you eat.

If you snack on some carrots or broccoli, it’s going to make your mentality a little better because you aren’t eating junk. Plus, it’s better for your physical health too. I know that we’ve all gained a little weight because of the COVID-19, but it’s not the end of the world. If you choose to start eating healthier, it’s gonna help you to lose any extra weight – in a healthy way. Learning to find a balance in what you’re eating is so important.

Your brain needs fuel, and the best fuel is going to be from healthier snacks and meals. The better the fuel for your mind and body, the better your mental health is going to be. If you like snacking on chips all day while you’re doing your homework, maybe try finding a healthier alternative like sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Those are still salty and crunchy treats, but they’re better for you than a family size bag of Lay’s chips.

Another option, and one that I find to be delicious, is kale chips. You can make them yourself, as long as you have access to a stove, and they don’t take long to make. All you need is some kale, olive oil, salt and pepper and any other seasonings you like. You can even skip the salt and pepper and just go straight to whatever you want. I’m going to try kale chips with ranch seasoning soon because my therapist recommended them to me.

Just remember: what you put into your body is what’s going to come out of it. Healthy food is going to lead to a healthier mentality and healthier lifestyle. Junk food isn’t going to make your mental health better in the long run. Stay healthy this holiday season and find some good alternatives to junk foods that you find to be a staple in your daily life. But don’t forget to eat some pie!

Amber Gausshttps://writers.work/ambergauss
Amber Gauss is a Psychology and Russian Language double major. She has been part of staff since August 2019. She writes about Mental Health in her column Mental Space.

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