Many in the mental health world do not lend much credence to the power of lifestyle changes to impact psychological health. The default complaint is that, while they may be effective, a severely depressed patient will not have the motivation to do the necessary changes. What if you could head the problem off at the pass?
There is absolutely no question that the nutrients we put into our bodies can help us achieve optimal brain function. A diet that is not rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals just does not support the full range of neurological function that is needed. Our nervous system is the greatest utilizer of energy (in the form of ATP) in the body. It is very sensitive to deficiencies in many nutrients.
The other side of the coin is to make sure that we are not doing anything to inhibit to brain functions of our children. This means creating a healthy, loving environment, restricting the use of toxins they might be exposed to (such as in toothpastes, cleaning supplies, plastics, bug sprays, suntan lotions, flame retardant bedding and cushions, etc…) and making sure they get lots of outdoor time to play.
This particular article demonstrates the payoffs. In a study of over 3,000 adolescents, there was a clear relationship between the diet quality and their psychological quality of life. Improvements in diet led to improvements in mental health. Declines in diet led to deterioration of mental health. Does it get any clearer?
So starting out early with good health habits can have a clear benefit on your child’s long term health. If they remain psychologically healthy from the start, the argument about whether they would have the motivation to make healthy changes becomes moot.