Health organisations worldwide are encouraging people to take ownership of their mental wellbeing. The first step to taking charge of your physical and mental wellness is making a promise to change or to adopt new habits, says Australian naturopath and nutritionist Janella Purcell.
“Our mind is not separate from our body – what we eat, think and say all can have an impact on how mentally vital and together we feel,” she says.
Purcell’s top tips for health:
1. Feed the brain: People with the best-quality diet have the lowest risk of developing depression and anxiety.
2. Keep fit: Exercise releases feel-good chemicals, which may help ease depression.
3. Sleep: Many of us underestimate the value of good-quality sleep. The optimal amount of sleep is eight hours a night and an hour for daytime naps.
4. Eat calming foods: Cashew nuts contain the amino acid L-tryptophan that is broken down into calming niacin (B3). Use food as medicine. Eat your cashews mindfully – a lot of work goes into getting just one cashew into your mouth.
5. Avoid: Try to steer clear of white flour and other processed foods, aspartame and man-made sweeteners, sugar and too much caffeine.