Research is continuing to confirm and expand upon the many effects good nutrition can have on our bodies and minds.  While we often think about our weight, energy levels, and physical fitness in relation to what we eat, our brains also require a great deal of energy, and function best when provided with vitamin and nutrient rich foods.  Unfortunately, when your brain does not receive the nutrition it needs to function at the highest level, it can affect cognitive performance as well as overall mental health.

Our brains rely on a constant supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to function properly and protect themselves from oxidative stress, or cell damage cause by free radicals.  Bad nutrition not only deprives our brains of the necessary components for regular healthy function, but highly processed foods and refined sugars actually harm our brains directly by increasing inflammation.  This brain impairment has been shown in studies to contribute to the worsening of various mood disorders, including depression. Negative mood symptoms can also occur as a result of low self-esteem if we are experiencing severe weight gain or low energy as a result of bad nutrition. 

In recent years, research has also confirmed a connection between gut health and mental illness.  Scientists believe this may in part have to do with your body’s ability to absorb necessary nutrients through digestion. Probiotics that help maintain a healthy and active gut have been shown to help lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression, further confirming the connection between digestive health and mood.  Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is involved in many major bodily functions and mood regulation, is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. When junk food and damaging substances such as alcohol harm the environment of your stomach and intestines, serotonin production may be affected, contributing to anxiety and depression.

If you are experiencing addiction, your health and nutrition may be deteriorating as a result.  Now is the time to reach out for help. At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.