The relationship between physical and mental health has long been known. Going back more than 2,500 years ago, the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, even said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Science has, of course, made numerous strides in confirming this correlation. One aspect of this correlation is the fascinating connection between “gut health” and mental health.
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we take this connection very seriously. This is why we focus on gut health in order to improve mental health issues.
At our center, we offer a diet that specifically targets the health of the gut microbiome. While to many this new dietary focus may seem far-fetched, we have found that adherence to this diet has helped our students function better physically and mentally. This type of diet also helps our students achieve greater spiritual serenity.
Understanding the Gut Microbiome
To understand the gut microbiome, it is often best to provide both a scientific and layman-terms definition. Let us first hear from the scientific experts in the field of gastroenterology.
According to the scientific journal Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, “The human microbiome is composed of bacteria, archaea, viruses and eukaryotic microbes that reside in and on our bodies.”
What function do these microbes serve? The article continues to explain that “[These microbes] contribute metabolic functions, protect against pathogens, educate the immune system, and, through these basic functions, affect directly or indirectly most of our physiologic functions.”
A More Digestible Explanation
Now, let’s break that down in more digestible terms. The stomach (or “gut”) has its own symbiotic “ecosystem” that works together to help the rest of the body function better.
When this ecosystem is supported properly by a nutrition-focused diet, it is then empowered to support the rest of the body in the most effective and efficient way possible. This of course also includes the body’s mental and emotional functions.
The Correlation Between the Gut Biome and Mental Health
It is one thing to say that there is a correlation between the gut and the mind, but it is something else entirely to prove that it has a real effect on the troubles your daughter is experiencing. That is where science comes in again.
An article published in the medical journal Clinics and Practice explains the effect of gut health on mental health issues. The authors explain, “The growing amount of evidence substantiating this link indicates it will be a valuable area for future medical and nutritional practice, and research. This review demonstrates the importance of a healthy microbiome, particularly the gut microbiota, for patients suffering from anxiety and depression, as dysbiosis and inflammation in the CNS [Central Nervous System] have been linked as potential causes of mental illness.”
Because the scientific community is largely on board, at Clearview Girls Academy, we feel it imperative to take their cue. After all, our primary purpose is to help each of our students succeed and recover to their fullest capacity. So why would we minimize nutrition and diet? The answer is “we wouldn’t,” and we don’t.
How to Attain and Maintain Gut Health
Ultimately, the way to attain and maintain premium gut health is not so complicated. It is all about a diet that excludes processed foods, excess fats, and sugars. This type of diet promotes, instead, healthy vegetable and whole grain consumption.
Here are just a few of the foods we avoid at Clearview Girls Academy:
- Processed foods (think junk foods like potato chips, candy, and sugar-filled sodas)
- Excessive amounts of dairy (especially dairy items with high-fat contents)
- Excessive amounts of soy (soy is notoriously difficult for the gut to digest)
- Excessive amounts of red meat and eggs
- Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), primarily found in corn, wheat, and soybeans
Here are a few of the foods we promote at Clearview Girls Academy:
- Plant-based foods, which does not mean processed meals but rather fresh leafy green vegetables and low-starch vegetables
- Whole grains and complex carbohydrates
- Fruits that contain prebiotics, such as bananas, grapefruit, and watermelon
- Healthy fermented foods, such as yogurt and tempeh
- High-fiber foods, including beans, legumes, and lentils
How Clearview Girls Academy Promotes Gut Health
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we only offer the foods that will help our students thrive and succeed. We also make sure that these foods are available at all times in our dining area. The availability of healthy foods and knowledge about nutrition are two of the primary reasons people succeed in maintaining a healthy diet. We offer both to help girls make healthy food choices.
Our students are never without gut-healthy options when it comes to nutrition. We also have the tools, specialists, and resources that ensure our students know how important gut health is. They then carry this information and dietary habits with them as they go out into the world.
Healing body, mind, and spirit is not just cliche to us here at Clearview Girls Academy. It is a way of life, and we use everything in our power to make that happen, including healing the gut to better heal the mind.
The understanding of how a healthy gut microbiome can create a healthy sense of wellness is relatively new to the recovery industry. However, there is much evidence that shows how a “gut-focused” diet can improve mental health. It has long been known that diet affects us physically, but it is now widely accepted that it affects us mentally as well. That is why we here at Clearview Girls Academy offer a diet that focuses specifically on the gut biome. We believe that what we put into our bodies directly correlates to our mental and emotional output. While it may seem strange, focusing on our gut helps everything else work better. Contact Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484 for more information.