HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – March is National Nutrition Month and MiraVista is informing the community on the importance of eating for good mental health.

Mental health has become a big concern recently with a growing number of people reporting about symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. There are multiple factors that contribute to our mental health, such as genetics, lifestyle, environment, diet, and nutrition, and they can play an important role in our overall mental wellness.

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

“Nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining positive mental health,” said McEvoy. “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,” said MiraVista’s Dietician, Kirsten McEvoy.

McEvoy also said that simple lifestyle changes like eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats can impact how we perform physically and mentally.

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign that is observed in the United States during the month of March. The campaign is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and it helps to raise awareness about how important it is to make informed food choices and develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.

“Overall, 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,” said McEvoy.

Eating for Good Mental Health,” a resource developed by McEvoy provides practical tips for eating a well-balanced diet to support good mental health. MiraVista’s goal is to provide effective and inspiring care for those that are challenged by mental health and substance use so they are empowered to lead fulfilling lives.