A Natural Approach to Mental Health

Mental health awareness

Do you suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, attention or behavioral problems? You are not alone. In fact, mental health awareness is everywhere these days, from television shows to Instagram storiesbecause mental illness is a top global health concern.

Statistically, depression, is predicted to become the second leading cause of disability in the world  within the next few years, behind heart disease. Many people who suffer from mental illness are prescribed medications such as Xanax, Zoloft, or Adderall. For some, these medications make day to day activities much more bearable. For others, however, these medications have terrible side effects, such as adverse effects onone’s mood and behavior, or the effect of the drugs after prolonguse. There are a variety of effective techniques and approaches donewithout psychotropic medications that may be beneficial for mental health conditions. At Spark Health, we specialize in functional medicine in the San Diego. We offer patients an alternative, holistic approach to treating mental illness. Our comprehensive approach allows us to factor in not only mental but social factors, to customize a treatment program.

Here are some of the top natural approaches:

Nutrient Deficiencies and Dietary Changes 

Many people suffer from nutrient deficiencies and are unaware of the havoc it is wreaking on their body and mental health. Less extreme nutrient deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients and amino acids can be detrimental to your mental well-being. Vitamins B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C and vitamin D are involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Magnesium and calcium are involved in nerve cell communication. Without an adequate amount of each of these key nutrients, your body cannot perform at its optimum function.

Studies have shown that your diet and your mood are connected, so it makes sense that changing your diet may help calm your symptoms. Eating more non-processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, and less whole grains can help balance your hormones and gut health. Additionally, be sure to watch what you drink. Cut out caffeine and alcohol to prevent mood swings.

There are a variety of vitamins, herbs, enzymes, infusions, and oils that our highly experienced naturopathic doctor at Spark Health can help implement into your diet depending on your symptoms and illness.

Exercise

Exercise not only helps to prevent chronic illness and obesity, but it can also improve one’s mental health. Exercise sends endorphins to the brain which encourages positive thought, heightened energy, and increased circulation in the body. Additionally, exercising is a great distraction that allows you to escape negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression. Be sure to move at least 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week to ward of negative energy and thoughts.

Meditation

Mindfulness is a great way to combat stress. Clearing the mind of negative thoughts and embracing a minimalistic form of thinking when extremely stressed has shown to calm both the body and mind. When meditating, the chemistry in the brain actually changes. The mind is more susceptible to positive emotions such as joy, love, and peace. So, when you meditate, your brain embraces the positive emotions while clearing out the negative ones. If you or a loved one suffers from a mental illness or symptoms such as anxiety or depression and would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experts at Spark Health, please contact us either via phone: (858) 228-4188, email:Spark@MySparkHealth.com , or visit our website

Ways To Boost Your Energy Every Day

The afternoon approaches and you find yourself low on energy. As usual, most automatically go right for the coffee or a energy drink. Rather than putting a bandaid on your persistent fatigue, let’s look at ways to boost your energy.

Food is fuel, and the correct food is medicine. Incorporating healthy foods and simple steps into your daily routine, will fill your energy reserves and you’ll feel balanced with natural energy.

 

1. Eat a balanced diet.


Avoid sugar and processed foods, think the more natural the better.  Fill your diet with proteins, whole grains, and vegetables, rather than easy to grab processed foods.  If you have questions on what foods to eat, stop in today for our Food Sensitivity Lab Test.  Learn all the foods you are allergic to and your reactivity to each one.

By having a balanced diet, your body will slowly break down the food, supplying a consistent dose of energy throughout the day.

 

2. Drink plenty of water.

Many who complain of exhaustion or fatigue find themselves not drinking enough water.  Headaches can also be caused by this.  For optimal health, women are recommended to drink a minimum of 8 cups of water a day, while men will need more, about 12.  For exact amounts ask your Naturopathic doctor today.  If you are exercising or live in warm climate, you will need to consume more water.

 

3. Try healing herbs.

There are a number of herbs that may positively increase energy levels, including Siberian ginseng and Ashwagandha.

 

4. Exercise regularly.

If you find yourself skipping your evening workouts, try to reprogram your body to do this first thing in the am.  You will leave with more energy and increased mental focus.

 

5. Eat small, frequent meals.

To maintain energy levels you will need to eat frequently throughout the day.  Small meals with snacks in between will maintain your energy.  Frequent meals will maintain metabolism.

 

6. Sunlight is good.

Time in the sunlight will adjust your mood and allow the body to produce Vitamin D.

 

7. Take a nap.

As we become adults we forget to nap, or simply say we don’t have time.  Napping research shows to improve memory, boost energy, and increase alertness.  A nap of 15-30 minutes will show increased well-being.

 

8. Take deep breathes.

Take deep breathes throughout the day.  Release tension and stress, but also increase energy with oxygen.

 

9. Consult your doctor.

If you want internal answers to your body, contact us today for lab testing, food sensitivity testing, hormone testing, and dietary support.

 

The Spark Health Team – 858-228-4188