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Mental health, vitamins, minerals and the immune system

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:19pm

It is interesting that health organizations have set recommended daily amounts (RDA) for vitamin and minerals and that millions of us take supplements to help us meet (or exceed) these levels. We have formed an understanding that these nutrients along with exercise are essential for our good health, wellbeing and growth. If we are defficient of particular vitamins and minerals or do not sufficiently exercise then this may effect our immune system and make us more susceptible to illness and less able to recover from it.

If we were to consider our mental health in the same way then it would seem logical that we maybe we should be more pro-active about our mental health, wellbeing and growth. That looking after our mental health would make us less susceptible to mental illness and more able to recover from bad situations, events and experiences. Yet, how many of us ever think about how much attention we pay our mind? Do we consider whether our minds have had enough exercise or stimulation today or if our brains have the right level of nutrients and chemicals to work effectively? If we have a mental disorder then we might take medication to correct a chemical imbalance, reduce or enhance certain chemical reactions and we may exercise our minds with therapies, books and videos but this is usually after we become ill. Mind gyms are considered by most to be a form of entertainment and pills, oils and brain food seem to be the domain of students and wackos. I wonder if there is something like a mental health immune system and if we would really benefit from more education of the importance of maintaining and developing a good mental health.

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