“You Are What You Eat”: How Food Actually Alters Your Mind and Body

food helps your mental health“Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.”
– Hippocrates, father of medicine

Food provides us with the energy we need to function each day. Our critical thinking skills, ability to form relationships with others, learning performance, memory and everything else rely on food in order to move at a steady pace each day. In the United States, food is a major concern because most of the food advertised here does not provide enough nutritional value to truly contribute to optimized health and functioning. Addiction recovery adds another layer of concern, as those in recovery are already striving to overcome the mental and physical wounds that alcohol and other drugs have bestowed upon them.

Many of us fail to acknowledge just how much of a direct connect there is between the food we eat and our brain functioning. For example, the University of Warwick Medical School stated in 2014 that 50% of women with depression are likely consuming a diet high in refined and processed foods. Fast food restaurants make it that much easier to consume foods that harm us more than they do good – and when addiction is present, the craving for this type of food is even more likely to increase.

Harvard Medical School emphasizes that it’s right through our intestines that the food we eat travels throughout our bodies to affect us in significant ways. For example, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, mood, appetite and more. However, 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract – which is quite a coincidence because that’s where the nutrients from our food go. From there, what we feed ourselves becomes how we think, feel and act.

Take control over your nutritional health today. Start eating more Omega-3 fatty acids, more protein and carbohydrates. Speak with a nutritional therapist to discover what else you can do to improve your nutritional health.


Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

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