7 Ways to Boost Your Mindset Naturally with Food & Gut Health

Written By

Rhea Dali

Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Wellness 1080X675 1 | 7 Ways To Boost Your Mindset Naturally With Food &Amp; Gut Health

Approximately 1 in 5 people struggle with chronic anxiety and 1 in 5 battle depression. 

1 in 5 women have an eating disorder.

1 in 10 kids are diagnosed with ADHD.

Mental health “issues” have become a “norm” in our society.

The typical treatment for mental health disease and imbalances consists of a blend of therapy, psychiatry, medications, journaling and group programs and therapy.

And while all of these can be tremendously helpful, a common missing link in most traditional treatments is the power of positive thinking through our food and our gut health. Yup, that’s right, the Power of Positive Thinking goes FAR BEYOND willpower, self-help books or pep-talks.

Whether you struggle with anxiety, low mood, negative thought patterns or difficulty concentrating, boost your mindset naturally with these anti-anxiety, anti-stress, and anti-negative-think tactics:

7 Ways to Boost Your Mindset Naturally with Food & Gut Health

  1. Love Your Gut. 90% of your serotonin—your “feel good” brain chemicals are produced in your gut. In addition, your vagus nerve—the nerve responsible for governing your digestion—runs directly from the frontal lobe of your brain to your stomach. In short: If your digestion is “off” or your gut is unhealthy, then your brain may be off (and vice versa). Love your gut with these 3 simple strategies:(a.) Take and eat probiotic and pre-biotic rich foods and supplements;
    (b.) Chew your food (really well)
    (c.) Experiment with mixing 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in 2-4 oz. of water and sipping before meals (boosts stomach acid to improve digestion), and/or try taking a digestive enzyme with each meal (see recommendations below)
  1. Drink Up. About 75% of your brain is made of water. When we don’t have enough water, then our brain runs dry. Aim to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day.
  1. Eat More Fat. A fat-fueled brain is a brain on “hyper-drive”—able to think, focus and concentrate wayyyyy better (and longer) than a carb-fueled or sugar-fueled brain. Since fat is the MOST dense source of energy and nutrients, it packs more power as well and ignites the circuits in your brain to come alive. Incorporate 1-2 fas with each meal, such as ghee, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, olives, extra virgin olive oil and full-fat organic dairy.
  1. Cut the Processed Foods & Grains. Processed foods and processed grains contain loads of anti-nutrients and ingredients associated with inflammation, brain fog, fatigue and gut “issues” (see Point 1). For instance, artificial sweeteners in many “healthy” (promoted) diet products, are associated with brain-cell death. And wheat and gluten, in popular whole wheat breads or “heart healthy” cereals have been connected to a leaky gut—and leaky brain—when outside food particles from your gut cross the blood-brain barrier in your brain, and provoke an inflammatory response. In short: Many gut-indigestible foods (like cereals, most breads, bars, crackers, frozen and convenient foods, canned nutrition shakes, and other packaged foods) don’t do a brain good.
  1. Natural Supplement Supports. Keep it simple—nothing replaces real food. However a few beneficial supplements for balanced brain health and mood include: B-12 (400 mg), Fermented Cod Liver Oil (1-2 servings/day), curcumin (liposomal formula, 400 to 600 mg)
  1. Lifestyle 101. Don’t discount the power of “positive thinking” that comes with total self-care, including: Moving your body (30-60 minutes physical activity most days per week) along with daily activity throughout the day (i.e. getting up from your desk), sunshine (30-60 minutes sunlight exposure daily) and 7-9 hours of sleep most nights.
  1. Act As If. So as we think, therefore we become. Who is the thriving, mind-boosted, positive soul you that you want to be? Embody her. Even if you don’t feel like you are her, pretend to be her and act like her. Slowly but surely, she’ll begin to hijack your mind (In a positive way). You are a force to be reckoned with.

Bonus: 10 Mood-Boosting Foods

Real foods go beyond just “clean eating” and aesthetics—nutrient-dense whole foods have the power to boost your brain too. Amino acids (brain building blocks found in proteins) + healthy fats + nutrient-rich veggies and fruits=the formula for a super-charged brain.

  1. Probiotic Rich Foods (Kefir, Grass-fed Plain Full-fat Yogurt, Kombucha, Sauerkruat)
  2. Wild-Caught Salmon & Sardines (or Fermented Cod Liver Oil)
  3. Coconut Oil & MCT Oil
  4. Grass-fed Butter & Ghee
  5. Grass-fed Beef, Pastured Eggs & Pastured Chicken (Amino Acids)
  6. Tumeric (Homemade Curry), Cinnamon & Oregano
  7. Organic Organ Meats
  8. Avocados
  9. Antioxidant Rich Veggies & Fruits: Dark Leafy Greens, Organic Blueberries, Tomatoes & Bell Peppers, Broccoli
  10. Whole Food Starchy Veggies: Sweet potatoes, squashes, beets and carrots

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