Improving nutrition can transform a person’s mental state when suffering from conditions such as depression, says Chroma Case Management, who support people recovering from life-changing injuries.
Studies are increasingly showing that poor diet can be detrimental to mental health and proving that lower rates of mental illness can be linked to healthy diets.
Incorporating creative, evidence-based approaches that place equal emphasis on clients’ psychosocial well-being and physical needs, Chroma Case Management includes nutrition as an essential part of their clients’ rehabilitation programmes.
The brain demands a constant supply of nutrients and energy in order to function optimally, and according to Sheri Taylor, director of Specialist Nutrition Rehab, who supports Chroma Case Management, some simple changes to diet can considerably improve and maintain good mental health.
Sheri adds: ‘Many mental health conditions are accompanied by changes to food intake, for example, loss of appetite or binging on sugary snacks. It has also been noted that various unhelpful food patterns that occur during depression also precede depression.
‘These may include poor appetite, skipping meals, and an overwhelming desire for sweet foods. As a result, inadequate consumption of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats will have a negative effect upon mood and brain function.’
Sheri offers the following tips on how to up your intake of brain-healthy foods:
- Eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily helps prevent cellular damage as well as provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
- The brain has one of the highest levels of lipids (fats) and essential fatty acids will help fuel the brain. Consume healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado. Oily fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and the most important for supporting brain health.
- Reducing intake of saturated fats and trans-fats such as butter, cheese, fatty meats, high-fat dairy products, and processed foods, because these foods are associated with poor mental health.
- Don’t fear carbohydrates. Carbs such as oats, brown rice, whole grains, and vegetables support the production of chemicals in the brain that encourage a greater sense of well-being, including serotonin. Carbs with a low glycaemic index will also slowly release energy to fuel the brain
- Fibre is key. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting good mental health is directly correlated with a healthy gut. Whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds as well as probiotics, feed the bacteria in your gut, helping support good mental health.
Victoria Collins, Director of Service at Chroma Case Management, says: ‘Chroma Case Management aims to facilitate clients’ well-being and recovery by addressing issues such as sleep disturbance, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise within our biopsychosocial rehabilitation model.’
Working with claimant solicitors and insurers, Chroma Case Management’s case managers will develop personalised rehabilitation plans for clients recovering from medium to severe category personal injuries or medical negligence events.
Chroma Case Management services cover Immediate Needs Assessments (INAs) and devising bespoke Rehabilitation & Recovery Plans (RRPs), which include client-centred case management and a strong focus on psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation.