Mental health exists on a continuum, and much like physical health, is intertwined and often informed by behavioral health. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” While one’s mental health encompasses several factors (e.g., one’s biology, one’s psychological condition, and one’s habits) behavioral health examines how one’s habits impact one’s overall physical and mental well-being. Good behavioral health means engaging in behaviors that help to achieve an ideal mental and physical balance. Nutrition, for example, plays a significant role in mental health, as a growing body of research suggests that what one eats can have a profound impact on one’s mood, cognitive function, and overall well-being.
Nutrition is defined as “the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life.” Nutrition comes from a variety of sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and more. Nutrients are substances required by the body to perform its basic functions (e.g., provide energy, contribute to body structure, and/ or regulate chemical processes in the body). These are vital, basic functions that allow us to detect and respond to environmental surroundings, move, excrete wastes, breathe, grow, and reproduce. Essential nutrients are compounds that must be obtained from our diet as the human body cannot make them or cannot make them in sufficient quantity. Essential nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) that are needed in large amounts for the body to function optimally are called macronutrients. Micronutrients include all the essential minerals and vitamins and are required by the body in lesser amounts. The relationship between nutrition and mental health is complex and multifaceted.
The neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that are responsible for regulating behaviors) in one’s body are controlled by what an individual ingests. Hence, poor nutrition can lead to detrimental physiological outcomes, whereas proper nutrition can enrich an individual’s mental health. Certain foods, for example, can increase the production of dopamine and/ or norepinephrine that boost an individual’s ability to think more clearly, remain more alert, and heighten their focus. Including certain foods (e.g., those rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.) into one’s diet can provide an individual with the energy and strength required to be physically active, which paves the way to develop a healthy exercise regimen. The Academy of Neurological Therapy asserts that “exercise has been shown to help improve and prevent many conditions, including: weight management, stress levels, emotional regulation/ mood, memory, attention, strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and blood pressure regulation.” Epidemiological studies have revealed that diet impacts mental health, and intervention studies confirm this relationship. Cultivating healthy nutrition habits is essential for any individual as eating a varied and nutritiously balanced diet can inform one’s physiological health and promote mental wellness.
Treatment In Calabasas
Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.
The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.