Mental Health and Mind-Body-Nutrition
Mental Health is directly influenced by physical health, and vice versa. Nutrient deficiencies, compromised gut health (leaky gut and/or imbalances in gut flora) and inflammation in the body all negatively impact metabolism and as such brain function. The gut-brain connection is a very hot topic in the functional medicine and holistic nutrition world. Here is a good article on it, if you want to learn more.
Even in mainstream this connection is more and more being recognized. In this article it is explained how common nutrient deficiencies can lead to depression or anxiety. And here you find a BBC video on how gut bacteria influence mood and mental health.
Still, physical imbalances are just part of the story, and simply taking supplements (as recommended in the above-mentioned article) or even eating a Real Food diet and healing your gut won't do the trick either, if psychological factors are not addressed as well.
We are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings (with the body living downstream of the soul) and we need to be nourished (not just fed !) on all those levels in order to be in balance.
For example: I believe that my poor food diet as a kid made me more vulnerable to develop an eating disorder (there are studies showing that people with eating disorders have certain imbalances in their gut flora and lack certain nutrients, which of course is then worsened by the disorder itself). Yet JUST addressing this physical layer would not pay justice to all the other influencing factors, such as lack of self esteem, the belief of not being good/worthy enough, fear of the unknown (and thus need to control), fear of the Feminine, fear of sexuality, lack of spiritual connection and trust, disconnection from the body and intuition, toxic relationships, family issues... Just like JUST addressing any of the emotional factors without addressing the physical side would also not be complete.
Yes, balancing the body creates the ideal conditions to balance the mind and address the emotional factors (and vice versa!! ), but it doesn't just happen on its own...
This is why Mind-Body Nutrition is so powerful: It works on nutrition and in the personal realms simultaneously, addressing health challenges in a truly holistic way.