Food for Mind and Brain Health
A highly spoken topic associated with mental illness is diet culture, which has unfortunately showcased nutrition as a way to achieve a certain appearance.
What if, instead of eating to look good, we start eating to feel good?
Nourishing Mind normalizes nutrition as a way to feel good mentally by presenting evidence on how food dramatically impacts both our physical and brain health. This information, based on research and practice, will promote nutrition’s role in mental illness prevention.
Influencing Mood with Food!
Here’s some science explaining how the food we eat directly impacts our happiness.
Brain-Boosting Smoothie Recipe
Click on the photo below to check out this delicious, easy, and nutrient-dense smoothie by Jim Kwik that will support your mind and brain health!
Weight Inclusivity & Supporting Mental Health Through Counseling
To highlight holistic and mental wellness as an outcome of nutrition, I recently delivered a lecture/discussion with Cornell University students on the Health At Every Size (HAES) view of health. This involves not judging the health of others by their appearance, e.g. assuming someone who is overweight is unhealthy and is more likely to have diseases, and that someone who is smaller than others is anorexic.
You might be thinking, what about the science showing that those having an overweight or obese BMI are at greater risk of chronic diseases? While this may be true, it’s hard to know how strongly other lifestyle risk factors (smoking, diet quality, etc.) are also influencing health status.
There’s also science showing that you can be (not, ‘you are‘) healthy at any size, including body weights within the overweight and obese BMI range. Those with metabolically healthy obesity have lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, and death than people with poorer health at any body size.
Essentially, since body size is not an accurate indicator of health, focusing on weight can have many harmful effects on your well-being as health encompasses SO much more than just your physical health.
You could be eating whole foods, exercising, and sleeping 8 hours every night, but still not be healthy if you’re doing all these activities with stress, anxiety, and restriction.
You know what’s healthier than Kale? Having a good relationship with food!– Tanya Mark
The lecture slides can be found here.
Research-Based Article on the Prevention of Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Illnesses through Nutrition
My article on alleviating mental illness (including symptoms of depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder) through food and nutrition has been published by USA’s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics group of Behavioral Health Nutrition (BHN) I co-wrote this research-informed piece with wonderful guidance from David Wiss, RDN, the founder of Nutrition in Recovery – an LA-based behavioral health dietitian.
Although there are sections that include greater scientific detail to indicate the clear evidence that what we eat impacts our brain, we’ve also transformed a lot of the hard science to practical, easier-to-read solutions that you can all absorb regardless of whether you have a science background or not. Half the pages are references so it won’t take as long to read as it looks like! A happy 2020 and blessings to you all!
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