The food we eat has a huge impact on our mental health and, by extension, our business.
Few entrepreneurs know how diet affects mental health and how diet reduces their ability to handle stress. Over the past few years, our collective mental state has declined significantly from quarantine isolation and the poor choice of food we have made. Doing business for ourselves has created a unique reaction to understanding how food affects our state of mind. Foods also affect the ability of business owners to perform at the levels they need to maintain their best performance.
Every year, studies are published showing how the food we eat affects our ability to cope with the daily stress of owning a business. Eating the wrong food can significantly worsen anxiety, depression, and general health. All types of mental illness affect more and more people each year. Current research estimates that more than 26% of adults have some form of mental illness. For example, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia. This number is increasing each year, especially among those who are doing business for themselves.
Food and the science behind our mood
As entrepreneurs, we need to fuel the system physically and mentally in order to keep flowing creative juices for growth and sustainability. Choosing the right fuel can mean the difference between the upper layers of success and the annoying downturn of just passing through.
Foods rich in simple carbohydrates, saturated fats, and sugars are known to affect insulin levels, increase brain inflammation, and affect the functioning of neurotransmitters. These SAD (Standard American Diet) foods provoke a fight-or-flight response in our body and further increase the inflammatory response. It’s a vicious cycle that itself becomes an infinite loop. These foods are also very low in vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids, all of which are components of the way the brain and body communicate with themselves. Without the components to produce dopamine and serotonin, the nervous system is “depressed.” We feel despair and develop anxiety that can even lead to suicidal ideation. When this happens, our nervous system becomes very susceptible to stress responses, furthering the path of mental illness.
How to eat a healthy diet to improve our entrepreneurial health
Rebuilding what you eat has a significant impact on your mental health outcomes. If your brain isn’t properly fueled, your ability to think creatively and positively about how to run your business is greatly reduced. Your business and future relies on optimally supplied and fueled biological systems that allow for ease of adaptation as well as the ability to grow rapidly. Increasing your vegetable and fruit intake with what I call the Paleo Rainbow Diet (all colors of the rainbow) is the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and organics your body needs as components of neurotransmitters. Increases the number of grass-grown meat.
The higher the nutrient density of the food you have, the healthier, more adaptable and growth you have. Consider getting a cup of each color of the rainbow every day. You don’t put crap fuel in your car — why put it in your body?
Supplements can also reduce inflammation and mental health problems. There are some very important specific supplements that you can take to improve brain function and reduce mental health problems. The basic supplements you can add are:
- A B compound expression, Reduces and supports the nervous system with systemic detoxification
- Essential fatty acids (Omega 3s). It is very specific for brain function and brain plasticity, so the supplement should have a high DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) content. As a society, our blood is low in omega 3, which leads to cell rigidity throughout the body: blood, brain, vascular system, and erectile dysfunction in men.
- Folic acid: Checking the genetics of methylation and blood status is the key to knowing if there is a problem with folic acid in the body.
- Nootropic A supplement that supercharges your brain function. They are supplements that can really boost your brain if you reduce all the other problems you have. In other words, don’t worry about these until you fix the underlying problem.
Your state of mind is a direct reflection of your environment. What you surround yourself along with what you fuel your body is the output of your system. Garbage inside and around is the same as putting out garbage. Poor body and mind are equal to poor failed business. Choosing to fuel your nervous system with your body with the best fuel possible (the old rainbow diet mentioned above) will take your system to the next level of optimization with your business. Drives peak performance. The old adage of eating properly and exercising is still important. Strong body, strong heart, strong business.