Evidence-based research from an array of studies around the world proves that our mental and physical health are interconnected. When you struggle with one, the other suffers, too. It’s a precarious teeter-totter of a balancing act, making people grasp for ways to improve their health.
But if you’re not educating yourself on exactly what your body and mind need, you’ll always be falling for the next “best” thing. Instead of searching for the Fountain of Youth, go back to the basics.
Learning about how the body works is the best guide you can have to make informed choices. These nine powerful tips will boost your mental and physical health quickly!
1. Drink More Water (and Even More Than That)
Your body is 60% water, so when you’re not getting enough, the results will be felt everywhere. You might not realize it, but your brain (73% water) and lungs (83%) are screaming at you.
The organs in your body can’t function optimally if they don’t have enough water keeping them going. Gradually, they will dehydrate. This lowers your immune system as it starts trying to prevent microorganisms that attack these weakened organs.
Yes, you need water. How much depends on factors like your health, weight, and climate. But if you think you drank enough today, go ahead and drink more. And then a little more after that!
2. Eat Your Protein
You may know that protein is essential if you’re working out and want to build muscle, but its importance goes beyond that. Protein is called the “building block” of the body because everything about you requires it to function.
For healthy hair, nails, and skin, you need protein. Balancing your hormones and antibodies requires protein. To keep your bones and muscles strong, you guessed it, protein.
Your body is always growing and changing. This nutrient is necessary to maintain it as it is and then help it heal and grow.
But your body doesn’t generate all of the amino acids it needs on its own. You need to eat foods rich in protein, like eggs and some meat, to get all of the building blocks you need to take care of your system.
3. Remember Your Nitrates
Nitric oxide, not to be confused with nitrous oxide, is an often overlooked part of your body’s health. It’s a nutrient your body uses as a neurotransmitter in your nervous system, it aids in digestion, and improves your skin.
This molecule is crucial to your blood circulation and every bodily system that you want to function well. Your body does create it, but over time, the ability to generate enough of this nutrient diminishes.
To improve your nitric oxide generation, you can exercise and get your blood pumping and/or eat foods rich in nitrates, like leafy greens.
4. Count Your Carbs
Many diets swear off carbs entirely, but that’s dangerous to your body. Carbohydrates are used as fuel and can even help fight disease.
The trick is to eat the right kinds of carbs. Somewhere around 50% of your daily caloric intake should be healthy carbohydrates. These are made up of whole grains, legumes and beans, and fruits and vegetables laden with fiber.
Put away the pasta and fill up on potatoes instead!
5. Fill Up on Healthy Fats
No one wants the side effects that come with too much fat, but your body does require this nutrient as part of your diet.
Fat is used to absorb vitamins and minerals, help your blood to clot after an injury, and build and regenerate cells. That doesn’t mean you have free rein to load up on your favorite sweets, though. Scientists recommend healthy fats to do the job.
Loading up 30% of your diet each day with good fat-foods might even help you balance your blood sugar and lower your risk of heart disease.
6. Take Your Vitamins!
Remember the Flintstone chewables of your childhood days? They’re not quite strong enough for your adult body, but you still need to replace them with something!
Our bodies require a lot of vitamins and minerals to function optimally. If you’re not eating a fully balanced diet, where you measure everything from Vitamin A to Zinc and beyond, you’re probably not getting enough.
Find an all-in-one daily supplement or a vitamin shake that gives you 100% or more of your required intake and add it to your morning routine.
7. Get Smart About Your Brain
The lack of certain nutrients is tied to mental illnesses like depression and cognitive decline. Focusing on your health and a better diet has a physiological effect on your mood when you add brain boosters to the plate.
Be sure to include polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids as part of your vitamin intake. These help your neurons and your nervous system function properly. You can find them in foods like fatty fish and plant oils or take them as a supplement.
Another good brain-boosting ingredient is a B vitamin. They come in lots of ranges, all of which are healthy for your mind and body. B vitamins produce and regulate the chemicals in your brain. B9 deficiencies (also known as folate) are consistently diagnosed with people who have depression.
8. Daily Vitamin D
Decades ago, the general world population rarely heard of a Vitamin D deficiency. This has been attributed to the amount of time we used to spend outside in the sun, nature’s own source of this necessary vitamin.
Today, people spend so much time indoors that the deficiency is diagnosed frequently and it’s considered an epidemic. Not enough Vitamin D impacts your mood and leaves you vulnerable to chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, and other deadly conditions.
You can load up on Vitamin D in your daily supplements and drink lots of milk and eat dairy products. Or you can get back outside in the fresh air and enjoy nature at its best, an instant solution to any bad day.
9. Avoid Sugary Foods
Everything else is about what to include in your diet, but there’s one powerful way to change your body for the better by avoiding something. Sugary foods and beverages have no beneficial effects on the body. In fact, they cause a lot of damage.
Sugar is linked to health risks like diabetes, heart failure, and kidney disease. It’s also a major problem to your oral health, causing bacteria build-up that decays your teeth.
Do you want the energy boost that you get with that loaded cup of coffee or caffeine-filled soda? Don’t forget about the sugar crash that comes with it. You’re better off finding a B-12 energy supplement or another natural booster and avoiding the sugar altogether.
If you’re ready to change your life for the better, you have to focus on the physical and mental balance. The simplest way to do this is to adjust your diet, starting back at square one with how the body works.
These nine tips will give you everything you need for your mind and body to function optimally, improving your health at the cellular level!