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What! Nutrition for Mental Health Cure?

Good news! You can begin your New Years diet and exercise resolutions with more

gusto than ever before. This article will give you new insight and point you to an action

plan for your mental and physical health success.

If knowledge is power, then let us arm ourselves with both! Did you know that mental

health and nutrition are best friends? That is right, food and lifestyle are the new

medicine for better mental health.

Processed food does not only make us fat, but it can make us mentally miserable.

Substantiated research has proven the effectiveness of integrated mental health

nutritional therapy (IMHNT) to greatly change, and in many cases, eradicate mood

disorders.

What is IMHNT? In broad terms, IMHNT is an integrated approach to add and subtract

foods, substances, behaviors, and actions to address mental and physical issues. This

therapy concentrates on the causes of mental and physical disease such as

inflammation, stress, cellular function, nutrients for brain chemistry, the microbiome

balance, and circadian rhythms. It seeks to eliminate toxins, enhance the transformation

of food into brain energy, address genetics and epigenetics, and how foods and

nutrients can alter gene expression. 1

Now, if changing the way you eat, drink, and get off the couch goes against the grain,

you are just like the rest of us who struggle with the habits that, well, make us happy – for

the moment. We like our snack foods, fast foods, soft drinks, and chewy stuff! But the

“hit” does not last long and we want MORE! Welcome, or not, to the world of food

addiction. 2

Food addiction was generated in the 1980’s by tobacco industry tycoons who realized

that the same methods used to create intentionally addictive cigarettes could be

transferred to create intentionally addictive foods. The addictive properties of a

sugar/salt/fat combination signal relief, comfort, finish, or relationship. They purchased

food manufacturing plants and created multi-tiered marketing which escorted false food

feasting into almost every aspect of American food consumption. Thus, the new era of

processed, artificial foods kicked-off a new aspect of American life -- food addiction. And

with this addiction came a cavalcade of mental and physical illnesses. 3

In her book, Food addiction: Assessment, management, and treatment, Dr. Joan Ifland

states that most Americans who are compulsive eaters are as addicted to processed

food as a recreational drug addict. She reports that it begins with processed baby

formula and goes from there. 4 Her research, and thousands of research like hers, states

 

addiction to manufactured foods creates manufactured illness such as diabetes II, heart

disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, fatigue, isolation, and obesity. 5

Dr. Christopher Palmer, MD, a Harvard psychiatrist, and researcher, developed a

comprehensive theory that mental illness is a brain energy problem and if treated

correctly, most patients’ mental illness is relieved if not cured. Dr. Palmer states in his

book, Brain Energy, that he has been treating his in-hospital patients with a therapeutic

Ketogenic diet, an exercise routine, and counseling therapy for almost two decades with

dramatic results. 6

In a nutshell, most of us have tried to change our culinary habits only to slide back into

unhealthy behaviors. Recovery requires effective and diverse mind/body interventions

with state-of-the-art methods that generate extraordinary health outcomes.

 

1. Korn, L. (2016), Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health: A complete guide to the

food-mood connection. W.W. Norton.

2. Ifland, J., Marcus, M. T., & Preuss, H. G. (2017). Food addiction: Assessment,

management, and treatment. CRC Press.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Palmer, C. M. (2022). Brain Energy. BenBella Books.

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