According to a UK mental health website, “Nearly two thirds of those who do not report daily mental health problems eat fresh fruit or fruit juice every day, compared with less than half of those who do report daily mental health problems. This pattern is similar for fresh vegetables and salad.” Those who experience adverse mental health issues on a daily basis are eating unhealthy foods high in saturated fats, unhealthy oils, and tons of sugar.
The brain, the body, and even the soul run on food. If you don’t believe the soul enjoys food, pay attention the next time you feel as though you’ve walked through cloud nine after eating a favorite comfort food. Food is a sensual experience which integrates all the senses and perspectives. You think food, you feel food, you experience food, you remember food. You also completely rely upon food. Food is more than calories, flavors, and recipes. Food is the fuel to the body’s engine. Without food, the body will not survive. What we give our bodies in food is what we have to work with, to live off of, and use to grow. Would you water a plant with a sugary, carbonated soda? Feed your garden potato chips and chocolate cookies? What we grow is food, and food nourishes us. Yet, we wouldn’t feed what feeds us what we often feed ourselves!
It is because of this imbalance that the brain often suffers. Essential nutrients like omega acids, amino acids, and fatty acids only come from food. The brain needs healthy oils, fats, and acids to recover and function at its highest capacity. When our diets are full of unhealthy foods, our brain is not capable at doing its best, which translates through us in many different ways.
Ongoing evidence shows that a healthy diet is critical for long term recovery. Depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other co-occurring mental health conditions can be supplemented with specific diets. For example, avocado, eggs, and whole grains give depression the fats and oils needed to balance mood and regulate emotions. High amounts of protein help sustain ADHD and create more focus. Addiction needs a full spectrum of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and complex carbohydrates to replenish malnourished bodies. Chemical dependency tends to set priorities on the consumption of drugs and alcohol rather than fruits and vegetables.
Food is healing. Learning how to heal the mind, body, and spirit with food is a lifetime tool for recovery. Enlightened Solutions emphasizes the importance of personal nutrition and healthy living through organic meals, cooking classes, and experiential learning with budgeting, grocery shopping, and more. For more information on our treatment programs for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health disorders, call 833-801-5483.