Eating well for grief support. Being disciplined about taking care of ourselves can be a challenge any time but it can be even harder while grieving. Everyone responds to grief differently. One common area that is affected is diet. There are two fairly common responses to eating. Either overeating or undereating as well as reaching out for sugary, fatty, starchy, easy foods.
Eating Well For Grief Support Through Gut Health
Recently there has been a lot more information about gut health and how it relates to mental health. Your gut is directly connected to your brain. Serotonin is a hormone that essentially makes us feel good. Did you know that almost 90% of serotonin is produced in our gut? Your gut health is directly related to your mental health. It is a natural conclusion then that eating well for grief support is important.
Self Care Is Grief Support
When we think of grief support we often think of other people who walk alongside us. Grief support could be a group of others who have been in our shoes with whom we share our stories. It can be a therapist or a fantastic counselor that helps us understand and process our grief. It could be a loved one who listens with an empathetic ear when we need to talk. All of these are valuable pieces of our support system. When it comes to healing and keeping our mental health, well healthy, it takes some self care as well.
When we grieve it is important to also pay attention to our mental and physical health. Grief that is never dealt with can easily turn into mental health issues. Staying on top of gut health can help us in maintaining our mental health.
Signs Your Gut Health Is Lagging:
- Gas, bloating, diarrhea
- Dry skin or hair
- Autoimmune disease
- Trouble losing weight
- Trouble sleeping
- Tired or fatigued
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you? This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms. There are many more. These are just a few of the ways poor gut health shows up in the body. If you read through the list many of these “symptoms” may also show up in your grieving process. Lack of attention to these issues can cause long term mental and physical health issues.
So What Do I Do?
Here are a few ways to improve your gut health and in turn give you a better chance at maintaining optimal mental health as you grieve.
Eat Real Foods
Raw or steamed vegetables are great. Try asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions, apples, tomatoes and mangoes to name a few. Lean protein and whole grains are an important part of a gut healthy diet.
What is a probiotic? Some types of foods include yogurts, kefir, kimchi, unpasteurized sauerkraut and apple cider vinegar are just a few. Taking a probiotic supplement is also an option when trying to make sure you get enough of the good stuff.
Diets high in carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods can increase the chance of having mental health problems. Chronic stress, chronic infections and overuse of antibiotics can also contribute to a less than ideal gut. When the weight of grief is on us it can be easy to fall into bad habits simply because we don’t have the emotional energy to be more intentional about our choices. You can change that today. Take care of your gut and it can help you stay away from falling into the throes of depression and anxiety.