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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > Oct/Nov 2019 > Happy meals

Happy meals

A growing number of specialists are recognising the link between what we put in our mouths and what goes on in our heads. Laura Potter investigates nutritional psychiatry – the next frontier in mental health
Photograph Stocksy

When we think about treatments for mental health, we tend to think it’s a choice between antidepressants or some form of therapy, or both, but the emerging field of nutritional psychiatry offers another – arguably much needed – option. It seems obvious that food affects mood, but the medical world has been slow to take it seriously. ‘For a long time, the brain has been treated as distinct from the body, in part because we still don’t have a clear understanding of what the mind is,’ says chartered psychologist Kimberley Wilson ( ‘There is still a lot of mystique around the brain, and the nature of consciousness, which has contributed to a dismissal of the impact of the body on the mind.’ But as far as Wilson is concerned that’s – in her words – absurd. ‘The brain, like all organs, relies on good nutrition for optimal function. Although it makes up only about two per cent of your total bodyweight, it uses up about 22 per cent of your total daily energy and oxygen requirements. Compared to other organs, your brain requires a disproportionate amount of nutrition to function well.’

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About Healthy Magazine

Welcome to the October/November issue of healthy. Our nutrition issue is here and in the latest edition, we look at why healthy diet is important for your physical and mental health. Plus, we’ve got some delicious seasonal recipes for you to try. We’ve all heard the phrase: ‘You are what you eat’, but to what extent is that true? Writer Charlotte Haigh attempts to give a definitive answer in our cover story, by looking at the nutrition tips we can all take to improve our health, despite the differences in our genetic makeup. In our recipe section, we’ve got a range of delicious seasonal dishes that are perfect for early autumn, along with immunity-boosting recipes to see you through the colder months. We also revisit the fermenting trend with some tips for having a go yourself. And that’s not all. In addition to our nutrition content, writer Laura Potter takes a thoughtful look at the potentially negative impact of fertility reporting, while controversial expert Ronald Purser gives powerful arguments against mindfulness in our ‘Fresh thinking’ franchise. Find all this and more in the new issue of healthy.