Now that anyone can basically post anything they want online, it is important to understand that much of what we read is circumstantially accurate at best. This is especially true when it comes to our physical health, our mental health, and our recovery health. There are more uncredited social media “influencers” and unfounded “health” web pages than we can count. This is why it is important to find government or academic-accredited sources for health information.
One science-backed area of health is the “gut microbiome” (also referred to as “gut flora”). Increasingly, science points to how a healthy gut microbiome can promote healthier mental and emotional states. This is why it has become more important than ever to understand what a healthy gut microbiome looks like and what kind of diet can help us achieve it.
Due to all the positive, and evidence-supported information on the subject, we here at Clearview Girls Academy now solely offer foods that support proper gut health. The good news is that these foods aren’t simply healthy. They are surprisingly tasty. Most importantly, they support our student’s mental health and recovery.
Understanding the Importance of Nutrition and Recovery
According to a research review in the medical research journal, Frontiers in Nutrition, gut-health diets support or even sometimes replace other types of mental health interventions. The article’s authors state that “Applied psychopharmacotherapy and psychotherapy do not always bring the expected results in the treatment of mental disorders. As a result, other interventions are receiving increasing attention. In recent years, there has been a surge in research on the effects of nutrition on mental status, which may be an important aspect of the prevention of many mental disorders and, at the same time, may lead to a reduction in the proportion of people with mental disorders.”
What you should glean from that lengthy statement is that upon more intensive study, nutrition has been found to be crucial for the treatment of mental health and life transformation.
Toward the end of this article, the authors also discussed specific aspects of gut nutrition and their effects on mental health. They state that “a higher dietary inflammatory index is associated with an increased risk of common psychiatric disorders, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, distress, and schizophrenia. Of particular importance is the novel finding from the dose-response analysis that a one unit increase in the dietary inflammatory index was associated with a six percent higher risk of depressive symptoms.” What this means is that even a slight increase in gut inflammation (poor gut health) can increase the symptoms of mental illness.
What Exactly Is the Gut Microbiome?
Now that we have seen how crucial the gut microbiome can be to our mental health, it might be nice to understand what exactly the gut microbiome is. To distill it down to its most basic definition, the gut microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms that live in our intestines. These microorganisms work in symbiosis with other aspects of the body to ensure our health and well-being.
When we are treating these microorganisms properly with healthy foods, they work to our benefit to make communication throughout our body function properly. When we are mistreating our gut microbiome with things like excess sugar, fat, and processed foods, that communication breaks down. With that breakdown of communication comes greater potential for issues of mental health.
Understanding the Relationship Between the Gut Microbiome and Recovery
According to a review reported in the medical journal Clinics and Practice, “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.”
This is another scientific mouthful, but broken down, it is yet another finding that healthy gut flora correlates with a healthy mental state.
It’s one thing to understand that our gut health is linked to our mental health, but it is something else entirely to initiate a gut-healthy nutrition plan. This is where we here at Clearview Girls Academy come in because we only offer gut-positive anti-inflammatory foods at our recovery center.
The Nutrition Offerings at Clearview Girls Academy
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we offer a diverse array of foods that keep the gut microbiome performing at an optimal level. These foods include plenty of whole grains, beans, legumes, fresh fruits, and leafy green vegetables.
Just as important as what we offer nutritionally is what we do not offer. There are no processed foods here at our recovery center. There are no sugary and unnatural, excessively caffeinated “energy” drinks or sodas here. You also will not find any fast food on our premises.
No, we are not a nutrition-based wellness retreat. We are a recovery center using all of the scientific studies and advancements available to help our students in their recovery journey. If that includes “digesting” a lot of clinical scientific jargon on the gut microbiome, then we’re happy to do it. In fact, we’re grateful to do it, because it is one less thing to distract our students from their primary purpose of getting well.
Many people don’t realize that a person’s diet can have a large influence on their mental health, especially how their diet affects their gut microbiome. This is understandable. It is a relatively new concept in the mental health and recovery fields. However, regardless of its recent arrival to the field of study, a focus on diet and gut health has been shown to be a highly effective way of aiding in mental health recovery. That is why we focus intently on offering a healthy gut-conscious diet for our students. We aim to help our students recover by any means necessary. This includes a focus on the gut microbiome. Please call Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484 for more information.