GoToHealth Media Video

Why Lifestyle Intervention is Key to Mental Health

When we think of mental health and associated services, we usually think of various kinds of mental health therapy.

We are learning however that our brain function is really a part of our body, and that many things good for the body are also good for the brain.

Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, MD is the Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain.  His ongoing research into mental health disorders, combined with the stress levels we all experienced worldwide during the Covid lockdown, confirmed four major factors that drive mental health.

  1. Adequate amounts of sleep. (Inadequate sleep is now associated with increased levels of cancer, for example.)
  2. Management of stress and adequate exercise.  Chronic stress increases inflammation and both bodily and mental disorders.  Exercise clears the mind and metabolises harmful by-products of both stress and poor nutrition.
  3. Beneficial, close relationships.  They provide opportunities to share both triumphs and challenges.
  4. Healthy diet, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean Diet, now proven to reduce chronic diseases and improved mental clarity, with its focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish, and moderate amounts of chicken and even less of beef.

This interview enlightens us to include lifestyle interventions along with mental health therapy in improving both our physical and mental health.

Dr. Ramos is a principal investigator in the clinical trials of New Brain Nutrition, the consortium of eighteen European University hospitals studying how lifestyle and nutrition effect mental health.

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About Your Presenter

Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital | jaramos@vhebron.net | Website | + more

Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, MD is the Head of Psychiatry at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, as well as Professor of Psychiatry at Autonomous University in Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Ramos’ primary interests are neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette's, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression which include genome-wide associations.

Dr. Ramos’ other area of ​​interest is eHealth and innovation in the field of medicine and the application of new technologies.  He serves as President of the Innovation Committee at Vall d’Hebron.