Optimize Your Emotional Health

Optimize Your Emotional Health

Good nutrition is crucial for physical well-being as well as your emotional health. A nutrient-rich diet plays a key role in how your brain operates and helps to boost mood, lower anxiety, improve overall well-being, and optimize emotional health.

Does your favourite chocolate bar or ice cream take you back to your childhood memories of carefree living and happiness? It is natural for us to find comfort in these types of food when we struggle with difficult emotions. While emotional eating tends to uplift your mood temporarily, it has nothing to do with hunger. Emotional eating may lead to a higher calorie intake than what your body requires, and we need to be conscious of it becoming a habit.

Foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt become more appealing when we are stressed or feeling down. They trigger a set of physical and emotional responses which temporarily satisfy cravings and help address our mood.

Studies have demonstrated that nutrition is not only crucial for physical well-being but equally essential for mental and emotional well-being. A nutrient-rich diet plays a key role in how our brain operates and helps to boost mood, lower anxiety, improve overall well-being, and optimize emotional health.

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health conditions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression could be one of the top health concerns in the world by 2030.

The Science Behind Food & Mood

Research suggests that there is a two-way relationship between the brain and the gut—what you eat affects how you feel, and vice versa. Multiple studies have found that what we eat directly affects our brain function and ultimately our mood. Eating foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and helps it fight stress.

The gut contains 400 different varieties of bacteria. We need to consume good sources of probiotic-rich food to encourage the growth of the healthy bacteria. Probiotics (the good bacteria) promotes healthy digestion, reduces IBS symptoms, and enhances our immune function and well-being. Read more on probiotics here.

Some Tips for Improving Your Emotional Health

1. Start Small
Food serves as both sustenance and a source of stress management and self-care. However, in this fast-paced daily life, our health is impacted and often ensuring adequate nutrition in our diet becomes the last priority. Do you experience decreased energy levels, reduced social and cognitive functioning, and lowered motivation? If yes, then you may want to check your daily diet and pay closer attention to how the food you consume makes you feel. Developing this mind-body awareness is one of the proven ways to enhance our eating choices.
2. Limit Intake of Refined Carbohydrates and Sugar

It can be tempting to turn to processed foods for convenience, but they are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats, which are known to cause an increase in inflammation while negatively impacting mental health.

Eating high-quality meals rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants has been found to help nourish the brain, boost happy emotions, increase coping abilities, improve self-worth, and overall quality of life.

This boils down to two PRO tips:

  1. Scale to plant-based nutrition- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and proteins like tofu, legumes, and yogurt.
  2. Reduce processed and packaged foods- Avoid packaged and prepared food, as well as those containing added sugars and refined flour, such as juice, high fat and high sugar dairy products, sugary cereals, baked goods, white bread, etc.
3. Try The Mediterranean Approach

The Mediterranean approach is a lifestyle that focuses on a plant-based nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as well as seafood, poultry, and eggs. It includes healthy fats, such as olive oil, with moderate amounts of dairy products. This diet is low in highly processed foods, red meat, and added sugars and is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help protect against disease and improve overall health.

4. Additional Emotional Health PRO Tips
  1. Observe your eating habits: Pay attention to your eating patterns - certain events or people that make you feel stressed which in turn makes you overeat. Common triggers include anxiety, stress, boredom, frustration, loneliness, and anger.
  2. Develop a plan: Create a plan for how you will cope with your emotions without resorting to food. Consider going for a walk, calling a friend, reading a book, or journaling.
  3. Eat mindfully: Be mindful of your food choices. Take time to really savor your food and pay attention to how it makes you feel. This can help you become more aware of what you eat and why.
  4. Get support: Speak to a certified health professional. Talk about your struggles with your family or friends. Having support can help you stay on track and remind you of your goals.

Take The First Step Towards Better Health

Eating the right foods, in the right amounts, can help improve your overall physical and mental health, as well as your emotional well-being. At ACE Nutrition PRO, we create tailor-made nutrition plans, and help you develop a better relationship with food. With the right approach, you can make lasting changes to your lifestyle that will have a positive impact on your emotional health.

Did You Know?

Prebiotics are a dietary fibre that triggers the growth of the good bacteria.

Good sources of probiotic-rich foods include:   yogurt, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and kombucha.

Natural sources of prebiotics include:   asparagus, leek, onions, banana, wheat, garlic, dandelion root, and chicory root.

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Michelle Deschenes really made me feel like achieving my goals is possible. Michelle gave me lots of encouragement, information and tips. Her approach is not about deprivation, but more about finding a healthy balance, which I loved.
~ Maria B.
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Michelle Deschenes is a wealth of information about nutrition and health. Michelle provided me with helpful resources and information to help support my journey towards achieving my goal. I am excited to be working with her!
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I just signed up and completed the 6 lessons of the online course (Nutrition for Life) at my own pace on the weekend. It is fabulous! So much information on many levels.
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Michelle brings a wealth of information along with energy and enthusiasm in helping her clients achieve their goals. The best part for me has been how surprisingly easy the weight loss process has been after years of struggling on my own.
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As I approach retirement age many younger people ask me how I get my energy. Michelle has taught me good nutrition from real food to get the energy I need. Now I am so sick of hearing others say "I cannot eat these carbs", when I know better.
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Michelle Deschenes helped me shed a great deal of weight. Encouraged me to cook more healthy foods and kept me motivated.
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I’ve been working with Michelle for a few months now, with great success. You’ll achieve results, and learn food strategies that you will carry with you long after your program is complete.
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Michelle Deschenes gave me so much material to help me make smart choices without deprivation. I appreciate that she enjoys real food and being healthy.
~ Tina C.
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Michelle Deschenes is always encouraging and teaching that with small steps I can reach my goals. I have learned that if I eat for nutrition and wellbeing, weight loss will follow. It is somewhat of a trust exercise: stop depriving yourself and eat well instead. Thanks for helping me.
~ Tanie S.