Young woman holding her hands into a heart shape over the sun.

You might not realize it, but September is National Self-Care Awareness Month. It’s an important time of year, when we’re each reminded to set aside time to give some much-deserved attention to a very special individual in our lives: ourselves! 

Why Is Self-Awareness Month So Important?

Life gets busy and it sure goes by fast. Whether you’re a busy mom or dad, college student, or young professional moving up in your career, it’s easy to feel pulled in all different directions, due to your many responsibilities and commitments. 

In fact, the idea of giving yourself some “self love” and dare we say “rest” may make you feel a bit guilty. That’s why this month is all about reminding yourself that it’s both healthy and necessary to put aside time for yourself to relax, unwind, and take extra care of your body and mind. 

Neglecting regular self-care can lead to stress, anxiety, and negatively impact your overall mood. And this negativity will trickle down into other areas of your life, too. Therefore, if you want to really be the “best mom ever” or “dad of the year,” you need to take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others and handle all of life’s many responsibilities. 

How Can I Celebrate Self-Love Month This Year?

One area of self care that we believe deserves more attention is nutrition. Remember when we said that neglecting your self care can trickle down into other areas of your life? For many, stress or anxiety can often lead to unhealthy eating habits. 

So, to help you celebrate and practice some self-love this month, let’s take some time to talk about how we can improve our mental health through the foods we eat! 

The Link between Food & Mental Health

There are many different foods and beverages that can positively (or negatively) affect our mood, energy level, and cognitive health. Today, let’s start by looking at two essential nutrients that we regularly talk about with our Livea family:

  1. Omega Fatty Acids 
  2. Probiotics

What Are Omega Fatty Acids?

Good question! Omega fatty acids are a building block for the brain, and therefore, are important for brain functions, including memory and learning. Omegas are also being researched for their impact on mood and mental health. 

There are different forms of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, too. These include:

  • DHA
  • EPA
  • ALA

According to studies, a combination of DHA and EPA are demonstrating effectiveness in improving mood and mental health. Research published by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, for example, is showing decreased feelings of depression with increased intake of Omega 3 fatty acids in study participants. 

How Can I Get More Omegas?

Great sources of Omegas include salmon, tuna, herring, and trout. Other sources include flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds. 

Although there are benefits to consuming these sources, such as heart health, only 0-5% of the ALA Omega Fatty Acids can be converted to DHA, and only 1-10% can be converted to EPA, which are beneficial for mental health. 

If regular intake of DHA and EPA Omega Fatty Acids is not possible, talk with your doctor or dietitian about whether supplementation would be a better option.

Let’s Talk About Gut Health

Gut health is also believed to have a connection to your mood. In fact, 95% of Serotonin—a hormone that helps regulate mood and promotes positive feelings, such as happiness—is produced in the GI tract. 

For this reason, it’s suggested that a diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics is beneficial in regulating overall mood. 

  • Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that help eliminate bad bacteria in the GI tract to keep it healthy. Probiotics can be found in yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and kombucha.
  • Prebiotics help nourish these probiotics and reduce inflammation in the gut. Prebiotics can be found in both fruits and vegetables. 

As with Omegas, there is also the option for supplementation for both prebiotics and probiotics, if needed. Always consult with your doctor before you begin taking supplements. 

Self-Care Awareness Month 2021

From all of us at Livea, we hope you will take special care of your health and wellness this month and that the habits you develop will extend well into the New Year. 

Remember to stay connected to our blog, as we continue to discuss nutrients and share tips to help you feel your best! And if taking time for some self-care means starting a weight-loss program, where you’ll find ongoing support, education, and long-term success, we can help with that, too! You can learn more about our custom-meal plans by browsing our website or by contacting us for a consultation at 1-855-GoLivea (1-855-465-4832).