Nutrition affects your well being

You are what you eat, physically, emotionally and mentally.

“… A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems,” advises the Preventive Action Alliance (www.preventionactionalliance.org) in its newsletter, Know!

The alliance also cited the Mental Health America study that found “young people with the healthiest diets are about half as likely to have depression compared to those with diets highest in junk and processed foods.” Eating more fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, olive oil, whole grains and other healthier foods is recommended. A study found that improving diets improves depression.

When you compare the price of your favorite junk food to canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, fish, dried fruits and beans, a healthier diet is affordable. Some things you want to look for in your healthy diet are Omega 3 fatty acids which fuel the brain and reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions. These are found in certain kinds of fish, nuts, seeds and dark green, leafy vegetables.

B-vitamins provide protein for the body’s amino acids and immune system. Vitamin D helps your brain to function at its best.

You can’t change everything in a day, but every challenge begins with the first step. It is said that life changes come through living your daily life. Something you do, something someone says, something that changes the way you look at things or how you do things triggers change inside of you and you begin to do things a little differently. You are a little wiser, a little stronger, a little bit better person in a better place. You grow to be more than you were before because of these life-changing things.

Actually, it’s easy to make a change. The problem is more about being consistent and making it a habit. Change can feel overwhelming or impossible if you aren’t realistic about your goals. It’s very tempting to reach for a bag of potato chips when it would be better to reach for an apple, or a high sugar content beverage rather than something healthy or water.

What do you need to be satisfied and happy? What does it take to lift you from your comfort zone and do what you need to do for your health and well-being, to be the personal best you can be? How do you assure that your needs are being met? What does it take to get you to do something new that’s better for you?

Don’t try to change everything at one time. Be realistic, one change at a time. Add a healthy food to your meals, applesauce or coleslaw, perhaps, and remove one thing that isn’t so healthy for your family.

Are you clear on why you want to make a change? For instance, the nutrition change will give you better brain health.

How does poor nutrition work for you? Why would you not want to be your personal best?

Why do you avoid change rather than gaining the best and healthiest thing for you?

One step at a time will get you to your goals. You aren’t in a race. You can do this.

My mother was a good cook. She cooked from “scratch.” The only thing out of a box was pasta. She taught me to cook based on the food pyramid. We rarely ate out. I don’t remember take-out ever being served at her table. She said the breadwinners needed to eat good food to be able to work and provide for the family. The children, she insisted, needed good nutrition for their brains to work well in school so they could learn.

Take a look at the healthy changes you need to make for you and your family.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded, in part, Ohio Department of Health.

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