“Healthy food can have a powerful effect on mood.” 1 

When I think about health; I always come back to the definition given as long ago as 1946, by the World Health Organisation (WHO).2 “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” In other words, I can be in excellent physical shape – enjoying low cholesterol, a healthy body weight, and good overall physical fitness – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am healthy.  Mental health is of equal value and just as important as our physical health, and both of these can affect our social well-being. It took me years and much reading around the subject to appreciate that my mental health plays a part in my physical health and vice versa.  That’s why it’s crucial that the food we eat supports both our mind and our body.



Common foods from leafy green vegetables to the basic garden-variety tomato may positively affect your brain chemistry and help ward off depression and anxiety.3 I also find the gut-brain connection fascinating, for I have always been a person who reacts at a ‘gut-level.’ “It’s now become clear that what’s going on in the gut determines, to some degree, what happens in the brain.”  3

“Change Your Gut, Change Your Mood”3

As Dr. David Pulmutter states

In the next 2 Blogs in this Series are some of the messages I have taken and things I have learned.  This knowledge influences the foods I embrace; for ‘health’ as envisaged by the WHO.

Rosaleen McHugh, Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, Completed Seventh Day of September 2019, T. Colin Campbell Centre for Nutrition Studies and eCornell


1 Gregor, M.  How Not to Die.  2015. Pan Books: London. www.nutritionfacts.org

2 World Health Organisation(WHO)  Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organisation as adopted by the International  Health Conference, New York, 1922 June 1946 https://www.who.int/about/who-we-are/constitution

3 Perlmutter, D.  Brain Maker. 2015. Hodder & Stoughton Ltd: London  www.hodder.co.uk