Nutritional Psychiatry: Food’s Affect on Mental Health
Over the last several months on my blog, I’ve delved deep into mental health and the many self-care tools I use to help manage my anxiety including essential oil use, good sleep, journaling, yoga, meditation and acupuncture. But there is another vitally important tool we all use daily that affects our bodies and minds: food.
Good nutrition is extremely important for overall health, physical AND mental. It’s mostly understood that if you eat unhealthy food, you probably won’t feel your best physically and could result in gaining body fat and damaging your organs. Many don’t understand what you eat affects your brain health too. Did you know the vast majority of conventionally-trained physicians receive very minimal training on nutrition? Doctors traditionally have prescribed medication only to treat mental health issues with the belief that only medication can help. But there is a growing body of evidence showing the powerful affects of food on mental health. It’s called Nutritional Psychiatry. The food we eat quite literally becomes our brain matter. It becomes the protein building blocks, enzymes, brain tissue, and neurotransmitters. Despite what scientists used to think, the brain does develop new neuro-pathways all the time. Everyday we have the choice to strengthen or weaken our brains through food. Read these two articles for additional information on food’s affect on the brain:
- Can What You Eat Affect Your Mental Health?
- Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food – Harvard Health Blog
But what is considered the “right” food for optimal mental health? There are a lot of opinions about what constitutes healthy food! You may consider processed, chemically-laden, gluten and sugar-filled food unhealthy. The next person may think eating meat is unhealthy while another may believe eating too much fat is unhealthy. So which is it? Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore some of the most popular ways of eating people subscribe to in order to achieve optimal mental health.
I’m starting a new feature here on my blog. It’s called “What I’m Loving Now!” This week, I’m thoroughly enjoying my Loving Earth vegan chocolate. Never heard of that brand? It’s Australian! I’ve wanted to try it ever since I started following YouTube healthy living super star, @sarahs_day, who is a huge fan of these chocolates. If you don’t live in Australia (like me) and want to avoid the high shipping costs, you can now order these amazing chocolates from within the United States via www.hunnybon.com. My favorites so far are the Organic Dark Mint (with infused mint essential oil) and the Creamy Coconut Mylk chocolate bar. Yum. That reminds me, I need to order more! Maybe i’ll try a few of their other flavors: Caramel White Chocolate, Raspberry, Cheesecake and Dark.
Interested in learning more about doTerra’s amazing therapy-grade essential oils? Check out the new page here on my website all about their exceptional quality and how to order. I also have a new Facebook community page for anyone interested in helpful hints and tips for using essential oils! Search for KWH essential oil community and request to be added to the group. You can also contact me with any questions or if you’d like some free samples.
P.S. I am not a doctor of any sort. The information presented here on my blog is my opinion and based on information I’ve researched, along with my own experiences.