The Link Between Healthy Nutrition and Improved Mental Health

The Link Between Healthy Nutrition and Improved Mental Health

The Link Between Healthy Nutrition and Improved Mental Health

Keeping a balanced diet can improve many different aspects of one’s life. There is a strong link between healthy nutrition and improved mental health. Not only might an individual experience an improved quality of sleep, reduced blood pressure, and better physical health, but their mental health may be significantly enhanced as well. When an individual is mentally well, they are less likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Thus, healthy nutrition can prevent the development of substance use disorder (SUD).

Eating a nutritious diet can be highly beneficial for those who are facing challenges with their psychological health. Participating in nutrition lessons at Restoration Recovery’s holistic rehab program can significantly improve an individual’s quality of life by teaching the guidance needed for healthy self-care. 

Challenges of Maintaining Healthy Nutrition

It can be very difficult for some individuals to keep a healthy, balanced diet. This can be due to the many life changes that one may experience. For example, an individual’s day may be significantly interfered with by their fluctuating work schedule, outpatient treatment for addiction or mental health care, or unexpected traumatic events. Such events may include a sudden divorce, a natural disaster, an auto accident, or chronic domestic violence. Untreated trauma has a strong link with addiction. Therefore, it is crucial for an individual to seek professional help and practice self-care to promote a healthy mental state. Maintaining healthy nutrition and improved mental health is essential for long-term stability.

How Does Eating Toxic Foods Affect an Individual’s Mental Health?

According to a study in The BMJ, the population may be psychologically impacted by following a poor diet. Keeping a nutritious diet is essential to protect an individual’s physical and mental health. Clinical research has found that anxiety and depression are the leading cause of disability today. Thus, these mental health disorders are the most prevalent mental illnesses worldwide. Eating high contents of sugar and preserved foods can lead to inflammation of one’s nervous system contributing to worsened symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and co-occurring mental health conditions. An individual who chooses to eat poorly may also experience:

  • Sugar addiction
  • Memory problems 
  • Irritability
  • Hyperactivity
  • A lack of self-control

Although eating highly processed foods may not be the direct cause of various mood disorders, following a nutrient-poor diet may negatively impact or worsen an individual’s mental health. It can also lead to nutrient deficiencies, obesity, and increased mortality rates. Given the high cardiometabolic disease rates observed in those facing problems with their mental health, considering dietary factors may improve an individual’s strength, energy levels, and state of health overall.

Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Nutrition

Based on further research in Frontiers in Nutrition, smaller trials have proven that individuals who presented problems with depression have shown major improvement from interventions while keeping a nutritious Mediterranean diet plan. Eating olive oil and nuts has been shown to increase mental clarity. Intervention studies have confirmed that such individuals with major depression who have followed a Mediterranean diet have reported reduced anxiety and an overall improved mood. Several different studies have confirmed that an increased dietary quality is linked with a decreased risk of cognitive decline. Consuming antioxidant polyphenols has been shown to improve an individual’s ability to cognitively function on a day-to-day basis. 

Healthy Superfoods to Enhance One’s Mental Health

Taking care of one’s mind and body along with following a proper nutritious diet is essential for improved mental health. It may be helpful for an individual to think of how their body feels after eating food that lacks good nutrients. Eating foods with bright colors such as fruits and vegetables can be highly beneficial for one’s mind and body. Superfoods such as kimchi, kale, and dark chocolate are highly recommended by trained dietitians. Eating poorly can negatively affect an individual’s activity levels leaving one feeling sluggish and demotivated. It is important for an individual to balance their intake to ensure an adequate intake of nutrients. A healthy diet may include: 

  • Wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Healthy fats such as nutritious seeds
  • Moderate amount of fish and dairy
  • Low amounts of red and white meat
  • Few eggs

Eating healthy foods in combination with a few self-care strategies can greatly improve one’s journey toward mental stability. For example, an individual may find benefit from: 

  • Getting an adequate amount of exercise a day
  • Spending time outside
  • Visiting with friends and family
  • Avoiding tobacco and alcohol
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoiding processed and refined foods

Moving Forward With Restoration Recovery for Healthy Nutrition and Improved Mental Health

Restoration Recovery’s holistic therapy options, such as nutrition lessons, can help individuals effectively cope with their mental health conditions. Rather than solely treating an individual’s mental health condition, Restoration Recovery prides itself in holistically viewing the person as a whole and introducing healing to other aspects of the individual. Our specialists kindly promote an individual’s well-being with support for recovery from addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. Accepting professional and emotional support can significantly improve an individual’s overall quality of life for a better outcome. 

In 2021, over 82 million people aged 18 or older in the United States had either a substance use disorder or other mental illness in the past year. At our California recovery center, Restoration Recovery’s serene setting helps clients achieve not just wellness, but wholeness. Many drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs are turning toward a “whole body” approach to recovery. Our California holistic rehab can treat a variety of psychological conditions. Our treatment facility offers an integrative health approach to addiction and mental health treatment and includes holistic services designed to support the recovery process by healing the body, mind, and spirit. If you or a loved one would like to learn more, call us at (888) 290-0925 today.

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