Skip to main content

Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that are broadly characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. There are several different types of eating disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) categorized under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. Recent data estimates up to 24 million people of all ages and genders currently suffer from an eating disorder in the United States. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Although eating disorders are life-long conditions, with proper treatment and support, a person can learn to effectively manage its symptoms. 

What Is Nutrition?

Nutrition is defined as “the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life.” It is a critical part of health and development. Nutrition comes from a variety of sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and more. Nutrients are substances required by the body to perform its basic functions (e.g., provide energy, contribute to body structure, and/ or regulate chemical processes in the body). These are vital, basic functions that allow us to detect and respond to environmental surroundings, move, excrete wastes, breathe, grow, and reproduce. Essential nutrients are compounds that must be obtained from our diet as the human body cannot make them or cannot make them in sufficient quantity. Essential nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) that are needed in large amounts for the body to function optimally are called macronutrients. Micronutrients include all the essential minerals and vitamins and are required by the body in lesser amounts. The neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that are responsible for regulating behaviors) in one’s body are controlled by what an individual ingests. Hence, poor nutrition can lead to detrimental physiological consequences, whereas proper nutrition can enrich one’s mental health, emotional well-being, and, for those struggling with an eating disorder, treatment outcome. 

Why Is A Healthy Diet Important?

Individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder often suffer from severe malnutrition including a lack of essential minerals and nutrients. A healthy diet can help an individual recovering from an eating disorder restore nutritional deficiencies that were likely depleted prior to initiating treatment. Cultivating and adhering to a nutritious diet is not only beneficial in a variety of ways but is integral to the recovery process. Certain foods, for example, can increase the production of dopamine and/ or norepinephrine that boost one’s ability to think clearly and remain more focused and alert. Including certain foods (e.g., those rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.) into one’s diet can provide an individual with the energy and strength required to be physically active. Proper nutrition is known to strengthen immunity. Eating a varied and nutritiously balanced diet can help an individual in recovery lay the foundation for continuing healthy nutrition in perpetuity, which in turn, promotes a successful long-term treatment outcome, and improves one’s quality of life.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Back to top