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Your recent focus on complementary approaches to mental health is to be commended. One important variable that is often overlooked is maintaining a healthy lifestyle in terms of food, exercise and sleep.
For instance, the brain uses 20% of the energy from the food we eat, and needs a broad spectrum of nutrients to function properly.
When depressed or anxious, many people comfort-eat sugar and fast foods, or turn to cigarettes and alcohol, neglecting cooking and self-care. They deprive their brain and nervous system of essential nutrition when it is needed most.
Many studies have linked nutrient-deficient modern diets, loaded with caffeine, sugar, processed foods and alcohol, to mental health problems.
As a counsellor, I find that encouraging clients to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, getting regular exercise and sleeping enough, can greatly alleviate distressing emotional and psychological symptoms.
More information can be found at Food and Behaviour Research (www.fabresearch.org)
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