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A Healthy Diet For A Healthy Mind — Keiko Izumi

APRIL 06, 2017

When you get busy, do you forget to take care of your body by eating healthy food and drinking enough liquid?  In the present society, everything is moving fast and we often expect everything to be done in a second. We are trying to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time; expecting quick service, quick responses, quick results, and quick fulfillment.

Our perception toward eating is not an exception. Today, we eat fast-food and ready-made food for our convenience. There are fast-food restaurant chains on nearly every corner, especially in Chicago. Supermarket aisles are filled with processed foods, and instead of standing in the kitchen for hours, we use the microwave to make a meal quickly. By doing so, we are consuming more chemicals than ever before.

So, what could be the consequences of eating unhealthy diets?

Recent Statistics Show A Relationship Between Unhealthy Eating And Mental Illnesses, Such As Depression And Anxiety.

Zahre, Ford and Jodrell (2014) discuss the unhealthy habits of the Western dietary pattern of regularly consuming take-away meals, high fat diets and high amounts of red meat.  According to their research, this unhealthy dietary pattern increases the risk of developing mental illnesses, while a healthy diet decreased the risk of developing depression.

Regular fruit and vegetable consumption also assists in decreasing behavioral issues (Jacka, Rothon, Taylor, Berk, and Stansfeld, 2013). The study especially emphasized the higher risk of regularly consuming junk foods, because they have a higher risk of causing mental and physical issues (Zahra, Ford, & Jodrell, 2014).

Zahra, Ford, and Jodrell’s study found a trend in increasing junk food consumption among school-age children. A light salad and a filling burger from a fast food restaurant cost about the same price in the US. Because of this, eating at a fast-food restaurant is an affordable solution for low-income families to provide meals for teenagers. The study showed that 2.9% of the school-age sample eat junk food as their commonly consumed meals. As many as one-fifth of the sample group answered that they eat junk food every single day. Among the sample, irregular eating patterns and daily junk food consumption were highly associated with mental health issues. In contrast, children who eat less unhealthy foods showed less behavioral, mental and physiological problems.

Besides these problems, consuming high-fat diets as well as processed foods is regularly linked to weight gain. Another Zahra, Ford, and Jodrell study showed an association between being overweight and mental and physiological issues in society today. The study pointed to the importance of a healthy diet in order to protect mental as well as physiological health (Zahra, Ford, & Jodrell, 2014).

When TV commercials suggest how easy and fast you could get a ready-meal on your table, you may forget that you could also “fix” a healthy meal in the same amount of time. While you may imagine “healthy food” only includes leafy vegetables and rabbit food, there are so many kinds of food that are considered healthy. The right amount of protein, fiber, and vitamins boost your energy! Next time you are tempted to get a fast food meal, take 15 minutes and try this:

Buddha Bowl For Christians

15 Minutes Prep Time,  Serving For 4


1/2 cup Quinoa

3/4 tsp Sea Salt, divided

3 tbsp Lemon Juice

2 tbsp Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

2 Eggs, Hard Boiled, Peeled

1/2 Hass Avacado, Medium

2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved

2 cups Baby Arugula  or any other vegetables or baked sweet potato


1 cups of chickpea 


1. In a small saucepan, add quinoa, 1 cups water. Bring to a boil over high.2. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is fully absorbed, about 15 minutes.  3. Fluff with a fork, transfer to a shallow dish, and chill. (Note: Steps 1-3 can be done in advance.) 4. whisk together lemon juice, oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set aside. 5. Peel and halve the boiled eggs; peel and cube avocado; sprinkle eggs and avocado with 1/8 teaspoon salt. 4. Arrange among two bowls the chilled quinoa, arugula, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and eggs. Adjust seasoning. 5. Drizzle with the lemon vinaigrette, and serve.

Bon appetite! Be healthy mentally and physically by eating simple!

Bio: Keiko Izumi is in her 2nd year of CMHC program. Before she decided to pursue a counseling career, she was a commercial interior designer worked on large scale shopping malls, hotel, and resturants projects. She likes to lean about baking and healthy eating in her own time. She likes to incoporate foods and counseling together in the future.   


(n.d.).(Aug 17, 2016). Adapted from Bulgur Salad Breakfast Superfood Bowl. Retrieved from

Jacka, F. N., Rothon, C., Taylor, S., Berk, M., & Stansfeld, S. A. (2012). Diet quality and mental health problems in adolescents from East London: a prospective study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology,48(8), 1297-1306. doi:10.1007/s00127-012-0623-5

Zahra, J., Ford, T., & Jodrell, D. (2014). Cross-sectional survey of daily junk food consumption, irregular eating, mental and physical health and parenting style of British secondary school children. Child: Care, Health & Development, 40(4), 481-491. doi:10.1111/cch.12068

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