Mental health isn’t just about what’s happening in your mind.
Inflammation actually plays a big part in many mental health issues.
This is because inflammation in your body transfers messages to the nervous system.
The vagus nerve in particular stimulates both the gut and the brain.
So if you’ve got inflammation in one part of your body, it impacts other parts of your body too, including your brain.
But this is actually good news!
Because it means you can improve your mood by treating the inflammation in your body.
Here are some ways to improve your mood by reducing inflammation:
Limit Processed Foods
Really, you should avoid anything in a package whenever you can.
Packaged foods are packed with preservatives and other ingredients that may lead to inflammation and aren’t as good for your health as fresh alternatives.
When you do eat something packaged, avoid products with more than 5 ingredients.
Pesticides can lead to inflammation, so check out the dirty dozen & clean 15 to know which foods are safe to eat whenever, and which ones should always be organic.
Remember, perfection isn’t the goal here.
Just do the best you can.
Reduce Environmental Toxins
Inflammation doesn’t just come from what you eat!
Yes, your food has a huge impact on the inflammation in your body.
But so does your environment.
And since you spend a lot of time in your home, you’re going to want to see if there are things there that might be adding to your body’s inflammation.
A good place to start is by using the Environmental Working Group’s website to find less toxic beauty and cleaning products.
This is a process and can’t realistically be done overnight.
But, once you run out of your regular laundry detergent, think about trying a more “natural” product before you buy the same old brand.
Even better? Make your own!!
Eat a Variety of Whole Foods and Herbs
Variety is important here.
Because diverse ingredients mean more varieties of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and antioxidants for your body to work with.
And the more anti-inflammatory nutrients you get, the less inflammation you’ll have in your body.
Reduce Sugary and Caffeinated Beverages
Sugary and caffeinated beverages can increase inflammation.
So swap out sugary and high caffeine beverages with:
• Soda water with citrus and mint
• Hot or cold unsweetened tea (green tea can even lessen anxiety)
• MORE WATER! A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day & more when you sweat.
Add Fermented Foods
Your gut has a big impact on the inflammation in your body.
And one of the easiest ways to take care of your gut is to eat fermented foods because they diversify your microbiome.
Foods like fermented sauerkraut (found in the cold aisle or homemade), miso, plain whole fat yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and tempeh are all great probiotic foods.
You can also talk to your natural health practitioner about adding a probiotic to your daily supplements roundup.
Move Your Body
Sweaty exercise is great, but all forms of movement help your body reduce inflammation.
So in addition to scheduled work-out times, make sure you get up to stretch, walk around, and move your body throughout the day.
As of right now, Madison is taking clients at Vancouver Wellness Studio in Vancouver, WA. She also does work for Haley’s Nutrition LLC as a project manager and content designer.