Today I would like to discuss the importance of nutrition when it comes to mental health.
With all the advancements in the medical treatments over the past 30-40 years, you would assume that depression, anxiety and other mental health issues have lessened over time. Sadly that isn’t the case.
Here’s some stats:
Currently almost 1 in 4 adults in the UK suffer from a common mental illness (depression, anxiety) in any given year.
Nearly half (43.4%) of adults think that they have had a mental health condition at some point in their life. This breaks down to 35.2% of men and 51.2% of women.
A fifth of men (19.5%) and a third of women (33.7%) have had diagnoses confirmed by professionals. – Fundamental Facts about mental Health 2016
The natural reaction when challenged by mental health issues is to simply go and see your GP and get ‘medication’. For a large portion of us it will work at least in the short term.
However ask yourself, wouldn’t it feel better if you could treat and even reduce the risk of (depression or anxiety) through holistic means and not have to worry about potential side effects?
This fascinating lecture by Clinical Psychologist, Julia Rucklidge explains the importance of nutrition and its role in mental health.
She has found that despite the wide array of mental health treatments on the market depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are rising instead of declining.
Like many doctors, Dr Rucklidge was taught that diet was trivial when it came to treating mental health. She has since discovered that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Over the course of decades worth of research she discovered that proper nutrition is “a safe and viable way to avoid, treat and lessen mental illness.”
One of her studies was a placebo trials perfectly highlights this claim.
She treated one test group of ADHD sufferers with vitamins and minerals, and then gave a second test group a placebo.
After 8 weeks twice as many participants responded positively in the micro nutrient group compared to the placebo group.
Those who continued with vitamins and minerals treatment continued to respond well whereas the placebo group suffered worsening symptoms.
She also tested micro-nutrients on patients suffering from depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. In all cases participants showed improvement.
Her conclusion was that poor nutrition significantly increases the risk of developing mental health issues.
Nutrition and DMC Fitness
Like Dr Rucklidge we believe that proper nutrition is the best medicine and we successfully educate our students on the benefits of healthy eating and supplementation.
When you combine healthy eating, correct vitamin and mineral supplementation and regular exercise the transformative effects are powerful.
All of our most successful students do follow our guidance, improving their nutrition levels and their exercise habits. This not only transforms them physically.
As they see the physical changes in themselves combined with fueling their bodies with the best nutrition possible, they begin to feel better emotionally and mentally.
As a coach it is truly beautiful to see.
If you are having mental health issues at the moment and are considering going down the quick fix pharmaceutical route, stop and consider altering your eating habits first.
As Dr. Julia Rucklidge suggests it may be more beneficial for you in the long term.
If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, nutrition or with your health and fitness and want to talk about it further, why not get in touch and I’ll try to help.
Until next time, “Strength for Life”,
Davie McConnachie, creator of DMC Fitness and Dynamic Mind Conditioning, is an expert health and wellness coach, multi-award winning motivational speaker, award-winning gym owner, writer and published poet.
Athletically, Davie has competed nationally in MMA, Boxing and Thai Boxing, and internationally in kettlebell sport. Davie enjoyed the London Marathon, several half marathons and is a regular mountain trekker.