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Better Mental Health via Healthy Eating

Food is an innately satisfying and personal factor. Cultures and families form over food. Social and Political situations depend upon food. Food and by extension cooking and all related factors are a representation of the human experience. Thus, it tends to have an immense influence, both on physical and mental levels. This influence ranges from positive health-focused to extremely detrimental.


One such aspect is the extremes regarding quantity. Restrictive diets claim health benefits by drastically reducing portion sizes. Body Image also plays a role. Perceiving self as something other than the societal standard may lead to dangerous behaviours like starvation. In fact, this is where Anorexia Nervosa, a mental health disorder, finds its roots. A person with Anorexia Nervosa severely restricts food intake, to the point their physique becomes skeletal. However, they are unable to acknowledge this factor. 


On the other extreme, there is the overconsumption of food. Innocent indulgence in junk food is common and, if occasional, may not have severe consequences. However, consistent over-eating, or in specific terms, consuming much more calories than the body needs or can burn in a single day, quickly lead to complications. This extreme has caused Obesity rates to skyrocket and cardiovascular health to plummet.


Food has a heavy influence on health across the board. In the research paper, ‘Food for thought: how nutrition impacts cognition and emotion’ by researchers Sarah J. Spencer, Aniko Korosi, Sophie Layé, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, and Ruth M. Barrientos, state a biological connection between food and mental health – 


“Low dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can also contribute to depression through its effects on endocannabinoid and inflammatory pathways in specific brain regions leading to synaptic phagocytosis by microglia in the hippocampus, contributing to memory loss. However, encouragingly, consumption of fruits and vegetables high in polyphenolics can prevent and even reverse age-related cognitive deficits by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation.”


The Dharana Holistic Healing Retreat near Mumbai focuses on a unique philosophy and approach to food. The evidence-based wellness programmes at the Wellness Retreat all feature a Nutritional and Dietetics approach that is individualized to your needs. Here are some ways our experts recommend to achieve better mental health when food is involved –



Where you source your ingredients matters greatly. Mass production has led to ingredients being riddled with pesticides, insecticides, heavy metals, and other harmful toxins. No matter what recipe, quantity, or manner in which such ingredients are consumed, the deficits will outweigh the benefits.


As a premier Eco Wellness Retreat in India, the Dharana Wellness Retreat sources all its ingredients from the in-house Organic Farm and the surrounding Shillimb Village. Grown organically and sustainably, the produce is completely free from toxins.



A key feature of the Dharana Wellness Retreat is the Shillim Cooking School. Building upon the previous point, the cooking school aims to form a connection between what you source, cook and eat. 

You begin from the farm, directly picking the ingredients from the garden, pairing them with signature Dharana Wellness Retreat recipes, and utilising slow cooking. This unique philosophy aims to preserve nutrients traditionally lost to heat.


  • Freedom from Conditioning


The psychological principle of Classical Conditioning plays a huge role in Binge Eating, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. In the research paper ‘A learning model of binge eating: Cue reactivity and cue exposure’, author Anita Jansen states – 


“The present learning model of binge eating states that cues which reliably signal food intakes, such as the sight, smell, and taste of food, may start to act as conditioned stimuli which trigger cue reactivity or conditioned responses. It is assumed that learned cue reactivity, e.g. the autonomic or biochemical responding and craving, increases the probability of (excessive) food intake”


At the Dharana Wellness Retreat, our experts aim to curb the effect of harmful conditioning, replacing it by reinforcing healthy eating habits.

Food is intensely emotional. This is a fact understood by the experts at the Dharana Wellness Retreat and powers our Food Philosophy. If you are looking for Holistic Treatment in India to recover from Binge Eating, Anorexia Nervosa, or Anorexia Bulimia, we recommend reserving a stay with this link.