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Matching Nutrition and Psychology

I grew up in a little village called Alhuemilla, Chile. Growing up we almost never went to the store to buy food because we grew our own. Fruits and vegetables was always part of our diet. Because of this life style we never got sick from anything.I never went to a hospital. Coming to America I was shocked on how sick people are. Even young people suffer from chronic illness such as cancer, diabetics,and so many others. I know our health depends greatly on what we put in our bodies, the way we eat. This experience has inspired me to study nutrition( organic natural food) and psychology( counselling). However, I don't know how to do this. Do you know if there is a school that teaches nutrition and psychology from a more natural holistic view? What other avenues could I take to approach the are of nutrition and the mind? What program would be the best? Would Harvard, Stanford or John Hopkins University and other elites schools be good for what I want to do. Thank you for reading this. I know I have a lot questions. Have a great day. #neuroscience #nutrition #psychotherapy #medical-nutrition-therapy

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Melissa’s Answer

Greetings... Let me begin with the schools. If a college/university has a good review on the program(s) which interest you, it does not have to be Stanford, Harvard, or an Ivy League school. Trust me when I say...you can graduate as valedictorian and still not get into one of these schools. Do not rely strictly on this factor

As you may know, <span style="background-color: rgb(231, 232, 235);">nutritional psychologists are primarily concerned with how one’s diet impacts mood and behavior. Many nutritional psychologists investigate how diagnosis and treatment of mental illness is affected by diet, specifically, misdiagnoses that might occur as a result of the dietary habits of people today. As for what you mentioned growing up outside the US and growing everything naturally, I can relate. I grew up in the US and my grandparents grew all fruits and vegetables. We were NEVER sick and if we were, the homemade remedies worked perfectly.</span>

Below is a link to read about nutritional psychology...


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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Jonathan,

Nutritional psychology is the science of how nutrients affect mood and behavior.

Includes a scientifically-based understanding of how nutrient intake impacts mood, stress tolerance, inflammation, energy, sleep, cognition, medication needs, and behavioral dysfunction. Diet is playing an increasingly important role in the mental health and well-being of individuals in westernized societies. People often eat to relieve feelings of anxiety or stress, without realizing that their dietary choices actually result in greater fatigue, stress, and mood imbalance over the long-term. These dietary influences on mood and behavior have an important impact on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders, including possible misdiagnosis of non-psychiatric conditions created by today’s modern dietary lifestyle.

Nutritional Psychology examines the relationship between food and nutrition and our internal experience.

Nutritional Psychology illuminates the biophysiological mechanisms, influenced by our nutrient intake, that underlie mood and behavior. Nutritional psychology provides mental health professionals another important layer for understanding a patient as a whole, interconnected person.Those in the field of psychology already assess all the psychosocial, medical, and developmental factors that may be contributing to mood and/or behavior dysfunction, but our current model is not considering nutrition as a piece of the puzzle.

Nutritional psychology bridges the gap between the field of psychology and integrative medicine.

Integrative Medicine is the recent movement in the field of medicine towards an integrative approach to healthcare.This movement is a holistic approach to care with the primary objective of treating a patient as a whole person not just a constellation of symptoms.

The principle philosophy of this movement is that each patient represents a unique, complex, and interwoven set of influences that affect the intrinsic functionality of that individual. Thus, each of these influences must be addressed to achieve wellness.

The field of nutritional psychology examines mental health in the context of nutritional needs/deficiencies and is an important piece of the puzzle when assessing a person as an integrated whole.Nutritional psychology is aligned with the principles of the integrative medicine movement and is an avenue for mental health providers to further participate in the integrative medicine movement as well as keep up with the state of the science.


John F. Kennedy (JFK) University: Nutritional Psychology Certificate ProgramIn this APA-approved online certificate program, clinicians will gain knowledge and understanding of the emerging field of nutritional psychology, which illuminates the science of how nutrients affect mood and behavior. Participants will explore the potential impact diet has on the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, including possible misdiagnosis of non-psychiatric conditions created by today’s modern dietary lifestyle. Clinicians will learn the language, skills, principles, and philosophy needed to work in conjunction with integrative medicine providers and to better facilitate a holistic approach to mental health care. Continuing education units (CEU’s) are available.

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Rocky’s Answer

there are holistic medicine schools, but doctoral programs. https://www.naturalhealers.com/holistic-health/holistic-medicine-schools/