We constantly hear that eating right and getting sufficient exercise can improve health. A study has found that the three pillars of mental health which include, sleeping, exercising, and eating raw fruits and veggies are all good predictors for improved mental health and well being amongst young adults. This study surveyed 1100 young adults from New Zealand and the United States about their sleep, physical activity, diet, and mental health and found that sleep quailty instead of duration was the strongest predictor of mental health and well being. Well-being was highest in individuals who ate 4.8 servings of raw fruits and veggies while those who ate less than 2 servings or more than 8 servings reported lower levels of well-being. These three modifiable behaviors can significantly improve well-being amongst young adults, which is a population in which the prevalence of mental health disorders are high. Read more about the study by clicking here.
Here are some tips on improving your sleep, exercise, and recipes:
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is recommended that you adopt habits to help encourage better sleep. Some tips they suggests is to stick to a sleeping schedule and set aside more more than 8 hours of sleep. What you eat and what your drink can also keep you up at night, so don't go to sleep hungry of full. Caffeine and alcohol can also disrupt the quality of sleep one gets as well. Limiting daytime naps can also prevent an individual from getting a full nights rest. Finally creating a restful environment is key to ensuring that suits your needs to promote better sleep.
Exercise can be as effective as antidepressants to treat mild to moderate depression. Simple things such as running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour can sigificantly reduce the risks of major depression by 26% and can help prevent relapse in an individual. Excercise promotes healthy changes in our brain inclucing neural growth, reduced inflammatation, and prmotion of calmness and well-being.
3. Raw Fruits and Veggies
Raw fruits and veggies are nutritionally beneficial than cooked ones. A new study from New Zealand has found that those who are more uncooked produce had lower symptoms that are common in depression and other mental illnesses as compared to those who consume processed and canned ingredients. Click here for the entire study. In order to incorporate more fruits and veggies in your diet, blending a variety of fruits and veggies as well as meal prepping freshly cut fruits and veggies to consume throughout the day as snacks are two ways to increase intake.