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This New York Times article discusses the emerging field of nutritional psychiatry. More research is backing up how our diet can influence our mental health.
Let’s get real, I love any time big newspapers shine light on mental wellness. I particularly love that they are focusing on diet though, and it’s impact on mental illness. In the past year, I have been reading a lot about diet and different theories behind how America has come to be one of the most obese countries in the world. It seems we spent a lot of time focusing on calories, when maybe that wasn't the right culprit of our obesity. Unfortunately, it has created a culture that seems to think fewer calories means a healthier diet. From a mental health perspective though, we know calories have nothing to do with brain function and health. Instead, the answer to improved mental health, seems to lie within inflammation and nutrients. Inflammation is bad for our body, and therefore, bad for our brain as well. It impacts the function of the cells in our brain, which then impacts how we feel and behave. Nutrients, on the other hand, help the cells in our brain to heal and function more optimally.
We need to start focusing on foods that are good for us and what those good foods can do for our body. More research is looking into how certain foods have the ability to improve mental health. Our brains use up more energy from the food we eat than any other organ in our body, so it’s not surprising that what we eat influences brain health, aka. mental health. Some pointers from the article: