HCN News & Notes

MiraVista Promotes Healthy Eating for Good Mental Health

HOLYOKE — Mental health has become a significant concern in recent years, with a growing number of people reporting symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental-health issues. While there are various factors that contribute to mental health, including genetics, lifestyle, and environment, diet and nutrition can play a crucial role in our overall mental wellness. MiraVista Behavioral Health Center is using National Nutrition Month as an opportunity to inform and educate the community on the importance of eating for good mental health.

Research has shown that a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods can help reduce the risk of mental-health challenges and improve emotional well-being. Meanwhile, a diet that is high in sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy fats can contribute to poor mental health, including anxiety and depression.

“Eating for Good Mental Health,” a resource developed by MiraVista dietitian Kirsten McEvoy, provides practical tips for eating a well-balanced diet to support good mental health. To access MiraVista’s “Eating for Good Mental Health” resource, visit www.miravistabhc.care/eating-for-good-mental-health.

“Nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining positive mental health,” McEvoy said. “I am hopeful this resource will help people understand how they can use food to support their mental well-being and make healthy eating a part of their everyday lives.”

McEvoy added that simple lifestyle changes include eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, while limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats can directly impact physical and mental performance.

MiraVista’s resource is timely given that National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign observed in the U.S. throughout the month of March. The campaign is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and focuses on raising awareness about the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy-eating and physical-activity habits. The goal of National Nutrition Month is to promote the message that healthy eating and regular exercise are critical components of a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle, and to provide individuals with the tools and information they need to make healthy choices.

“Overall,” McEvoy said, “National Nutrition Month is an excellent opportunity for individuals and organizations to come together to promote healthy living and to raise awareness about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity in maintaining good health, which includes mental health.”