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Hokie Health: The positive impacts of good nutrition

From: Hokie Wellness

When most of us think of nutrition, we think about its connection to physical health. However, what we eat also plays an important role in our mental and emotional well-being. 

The gastrointestinal system is intricately connected with chemical messengers (also called neurotransmitters), such as serotonin and dopamine, that carry information from the gut to the brain. Fueling the body with nutrient-dense foods encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, ultimately supporting the function of these chemical messengers. There are many foods that provide nutrients to support the brain-gut connection, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, fermented foods, beans, legumes, and lean proteins. 

When we are physically well, we feel better mentally and emotionally, and vice versa. Hokie Wellness offers opportunities for employees to learn more about how to take care of your whole health – mental, emotional, and physical. 

Hokie Wellness will host a virtual “Mindful Eating 101” program on Thursday, May 20, from 12-12:45 p.m. Participants will learn the basics of mindful eating and how this practice can bring greater presence and enjoyment to meal times, increase attunement to hunger and fullness signals, and serve as a tool for nurturing a healthier relationship with food. Participants are encouraged to bring a food of choice with which to engage in a short mindful eating exercise. Register here.

Additionally, Hokie Wellness will host “Liven up Your Lunchbox: Tips and Tricks for Packing a Balanced and Tasty Lunch” on Wednesday, May 26, from 12-1 p.m. Participants will learn why eating a balanced lunch is integral to maintaining energy levels and avoiding the afternoon crash, how to plan ahead for success, and new, creative lunch recipe ideas. Whether employees are working remotely or on-campus, this program will provide helpful tips for all. Register here.

Visit the Employee Wellness at Home site for more information on virtual workshops, connection sessions, and other wellness resources offered.

Hokie Wellness serves Virginia Tech to foster a healthier community by providing prevention services, education, outreach, and resources to employees and students. If you have questions, need assistance, or want to join the Hokie Wellness Google group to stay up to date with monthly updates, contact the team at hokiewellness@vt.edu.

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