Nutrition For Mental Health: You Are What You Eat

fruit plate

The body and mind are closely connected, which means the food we put in our mouth directly affects the health of our brain.

Our brain uses more than 20% of our caloric intake to function everyday. In fact, scientists who have researched such diseases as Alzheimer’s and dementia have discovered that these conditions start developing years before symptoms occur, caused by the inflammation of brain cells. Nutrition for mental health —and the connection between what we eat and how we feel—is scientifically proven and impossible to argue against.

Our nutritional intake directly impacts not only the inflammation of our brain cells, but the inflammation of cells throughout various systems in our body.

Nutrition for mental health and foods that are considered good for brain functionality and health include:

1. Whole, nutrient-dense foods: foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and legumes provide essential nutrients, like protein, vitamins and fiber for your body and brain.

2. Plants: plants produce phytochemicals, which are anti-inflammatory and provide natural antioxidants.

3. Fiber: Fiber also makes you feel fuller for longer, which helps with not overeating!

4. A healthy nutrient-dense diet: eating nutrient-rich foods can help fight diseases and infections, and boost our mood and brain activity.

5. A Mediterranean diet: A diet rich in healthy fats and oils has been shown to help reduce cardiovascular disease. Studies show that it can also improve executive function and memory, and lower the risk factors leading to diabetes and stroke.

Which foods can have a negative impact on brain health? Be careful to avoid these:

1. Processed grains, refined sugars, processed oils and fats, chemical additives and preservatives. These foods are highly inflammatory.

2. Highly processed sugars, like sodas and sports drinks. Foods that contain large quantities of sugar can cause the body to produce a rush of insulin. Over time, this excessive sugar consumption can make our body insulin-resistant and lead to diabetes.

3. Processed grains that are stripped of nutrients, like pasta and unbleached flour. These foods leave behind starches, which are absorbed quickly into the gut—like sugar. Over time, it can lead to similar chronic inflammation and weight-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

During this time of quarantine, you may not be getting all the nutrients you normally do. Food options are limited, and even though you may be doing your best to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet…stress is also high, and “food therapy” may be coming into play. Consider supplementing your diet with nutrient-rich IV vitamin infusions at Renew Ketamine. Contact our office for a consultation today, or complete the brief form below.

Contact Renew Ketamine

Renew Ketamine is Chicagoland’s leading provider of ketamine infusions for depression and pain. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out if you or a loved one is a candidate for ketamine infusion therapy.