At KOR, when we talk about wellness, we’re not just referring to physical health. Our brand believes that wellness is something that begins from the inside out. So even if you’re hitting the gym everyday and eating right, if you’re not taking care of your mental health, you aren’t truly well.
In fact, one in four people suffers from some form of mental illness, but each one thinks they’re alone in feeling that way. According to Dr Julie Smith (@drjuliesmith), “It’s a natural part of being human.”
Fortunately, fine-tuning what you eat and the way you eat it can go a long way in improving your overall mood.
“Your brain requires a constant supply of fuel,” writes Eva Selhub MD (@dr_eva_selhub), author at Harvard Health Publishing. “That ‘fuel’ comes from the foods you eat — and what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.”
Ready to fuel your way to a better mood? We reached out to some of our favorite wellness experts to get their input on healthy eating for a healthy mind:
Taking a probiotic helps improve the health of your gut bacteria, which can reduce gut inflammation, improve the communication between the gut and brain, and help produce the proper amounts of neurotransmitters needed to reduce depression and anxiety.
Research shows that dysbiosis and gut inflammation are linked to depression and anxiety. This is because the gut and brain are in constant communication via the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the stomach. When your gut is inflamed, it sends "help" signals to your brain, affecting mental health and making you feel anxious.
Additionally, your gut is responsible for producing many neurotransmitters that affect mental health, such as GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. Research shows that low levels of serotonin are linked to depression. Maintaining a healthy gut means that your body will be able to properly produce neurotransmitters that boost mental health.
Incorporate probiotics into your diet quickly and effectively with Gut Check. This apple cider vinegar-based shot contains the all-mighty mother and 1 billion CFU probiotics.
2. Stick to plants
Diets rich in plants support the gut microbiome and overall health. The gut influences mood and mental health, and a healthy diet helps to promote a healthy gut. Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce inflammatory markers and have an inverse relationship with depression and other mood disorders.
Conversely, a diet high in processed foods can increase inflammatory markers. Diets low in antioxidants may similarly promote inflammation. Plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are a source of antioxidants that are important for mental health.
Jinan Banna, PhD, RD
Imbalances in blood sugar are a common contributor to mental health conditions, such as anxiety. When blood sugar goes unregulated, people experience crashes, which release stress hormones.
The first step to balancing blood sugar is to remove any added sugars and refined carbohydrates. Instead, prioritize protein, healthy fats, and consumption of fiber.
Shannon Dolan, Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
Did you know that curcumin, the active component in turmeric, can decrease levels of glucose in your blood? With KOR’s Vitality you can harness the stabilizing power of turmeric in one quick and easy shot.
4. Adopt a Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet and lifestyle encompasses not only the foods that we eat but how we eat them, both of which play an important role in improving mental health and well-being.
In case you don’t already know, the Mediterranean diet is abundant in fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and olive oil, with the primary source of protein deriving from seafood and fish, with moderate consumption of poultry, eggs, and dairy Red meat is reduced, and wine is consumed with meals in moderation.
Emphasis of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is placed on spending time with loved ones, physical activity/movement, relaxation, and life balance, which in combination with this diet pattern, can help improve overall mood and mental health. Meals are typically shared with family/friends and tend to be social events, which influence more healthy and mindful eating patterns. In turn, the Mediterranean diet has shown to increase enjoyment of meals, enhance mood, and help decrease anxiety.
A variety of health benefits are seen with the Mediterranean diet pattern and lifestyle, including decreased inflammation, decreased serum lipids, oxidative stress, and increased nitric oxide production, which can lead to neurological, cognitive, and mental health benefits.
Lindsay Wengler MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, Registered Dietitian, Olive Branch Nutrition
Vitamin C is essential for making dopamine and serotonin which enhance mood and prevent depression symptoms. We all know citrus fruits can be high in vitamin C, but some other surprising foods that contain this nutrient include broccoli, papaya, bell peppers of all colors, sweet potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes, to name a few.
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
Vitamin C is just a cold pressed juice shot away with KOR’s Potent-C. Packed with organic sea buckthorn – one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C – this naturally sweet and vibrant shot will load you up with 50% of your daily recommended value.
6. Reishi mushroom
This mushroom, known for its medicinal properties, has been traditionally recommended by Chinese and Japanese herbalists for its calming and relaxation properties. It’s most frequently consumed as a tea or mushroom coffee.
Reishi mushroom can help relax the muscles and promote the "rest and digest" (parasympathetic portion) of the nervous system. In a study, this medicinal mushroom was found to be useful in the preliminary stages of sleep and have an initial effect of relaxation to lead more naturally into sleep. If you are more relaxed and able to obtain quality sleep, you have a higher likelihood of less anxiety the following day.
At KOR, we believe Reishi mushroom is an essential, but it isn’t always accessible. That’s why we packed this powerful adaptogen into our De-Stress shot for you to enjoy. This yummy blend of kiwi juice, pineapple juice, organic passionflower extract, and Reishi mushroom was formulated to bring a little more Zen to your day.
The experts agree: your diet plays an important role in how you feel on the inside. As a quick recap, here are some of the KOR shots containing the mood-boosting ingredients recommended by these experts:
- Gut Check: because a healthy gut means a healthy mind
- Vitality: with turmeric for stabilizing blood sugar and avoiding mood crashes
- Potent-C: for a daily dose of depression-fighting vitamin C
- De-Stress: for easy access to ultra-calming Reishi mushroom
Elevate your diet, and lift up your spirits with KOR!