Did you know that there’s is a connection between food and mental health?
All aspects of our being; spiritual, emotional and physical; requires proper nourishment. Meditating and prayer feeds us spiritually, safe and nurturing relationships feed us emotionally, and nutritionally dense foods like fruits and vegetables feed us physically. We need all of the above to be healthy, strong and stable individuals
One key to better overall health however is understanding that the spiritual, physical and emotional aspects of our being cannot be separated from one another. Our spiritual self does not stand alone, nor does our physical and emotional selves. If we are not feeding ourselves properly spiritually, we may become anxious or depressed. Likewise, if we are not physically taking care of our bodies our spiritual and emotional health is likely to suffer.
And that brings me to the point of this article, what food we feed our bodies matters a great deal not only to our physical health but our emotional health as well. Sadly we live in a culture where processed and fast foods are the norm. They fit our busy “got to have it now” lifestyles. But did you know that panic attacks, depression, angry outbursts, irritability and moodswings can all be brought on by nutritional defects? Not to mention that the cost of depression and obesity is over $150 billion dollars annually in this country alone.
One of the greatest culprits to our health are the so called “white foods”: white flour, sugar, sugar substitutes, pasta, rice and table salt are all to be avoided if you want to promote health throughout your body and brain. These foods are all nutritionally empty and therefore do nothing to support the complex biochemistry that operates your brain and body.
In addition to being nutritionally empty, many of the white foods can cause major highs and lows in blood sugar levels. These fluctuating blood sugar levels can result in serious mood swings, trigger panic attacks and promote food addictions. The white foods also contribute to obesity which in and of itself creates more mental health and emotional issues. Do you see how eating white only leads down a slippery slope of physical and emotional destruction?
At this point you may be wondering “what can I eat?” But, before considering what you should eat, let me challenge you to find out more about why you should eat differently. After all, knowledge is power. Joel Fuhrman, MD wrote a must read book called Eat to Live. These three simple words are a wonderful philosophy to adopt if you are serious about taking care of your mental and physical health. Make it your aim to eat to live, not live to eat. Make it your aim to properly feed and care for the temple where God has made His dwelling place on this earth. Do this by educating yourself on the science of proper diet and nutrition by reading a book like Eat to Live.
Now let’s get back to “what should you eat?” The good news is that the full array of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that your body and brain needs are found in whole foods. These foods were created by God for one purpose, to sustain life. Sadly, only about 1/100 people are eating the food they need to defend themselves against disease. Hence our society has epidemic levels of heart, cancer, diabetes, depression and anxiety as well as many other diseases. Consider that over 40% of adults are on some kind of prescription medication.
Let’s consider the advice of Hippocrates the father of medicine who said over 2000 years ago, “Let food be your medicine.” Today, science is showing us unequivocally that food is the medicine that our bodies need.The best food to support your emotional and physical health is a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
You don’t have to be one of the 99/100 people who are headed for a health disaster because of poor nutrition. There is a food and mental health as well as physical health connection. Take charge of your physical and mental health today by eating a healthy diet of fresh whole foods and you will be on your way to superior health and well being.