Independence Blue Cross #mindPHL Wellness Corner: Nutrition
Vetri Community Partnership wants you to be inspired by real, whole food and to understand its role in how you feel.
Nourish your body and mind.
“Cooking is a great way to support mental health,” says Erika Dorsey, Vetri Cooking Lab Program Coordinator. “When you make a meal for yourself or others, you are thinking about what’s going into your body. It’s a kind of mindfulness.”
Dorsey and her colleagues at Vetri Community Partnership see the kitchen as a classroom that provides opportunities for learning not only about yourself, but about other communities and cultures.
The nutrition in food also influences how we feel. Some foods that may be important for mental health include:
– Healthy fats like the ones found in tuna, salmon, and extra virgin olive oil
– Whole grains such as oats
– Fruit and vegetables
– Fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut
– Nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils
“Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume is a simple but surefire way to fuel your body with the many vitamins and minerals you need to feel good,” says Dorsey.
She also encourages people to pay attention to how they feel after eating. Sluggish? Energized? Refreshed? Did your meal or snack satisfy you for a moment or sustain you for a longer period of time? Your brain is fueled by the food you eat, and adding nourishing foods to your diet can help you feel better longer.
According to Dorsey, breakfast wraps are an easy way to incorporate whole grains, healthy protein, and vegetables. “By starting the day off with a nourishing breakfast, you are fueling your body with energy, regulating your blood sugar levels and helping to jumpstart your metabolism for the day,” says Dorsey.
Want more fun, healthy, family-friendly recipes? Check out Vetri Community Partnership’s Veggie of the Month.