Nutrition and Mental Health

Change your Diet, Change your Mind

Nutrition plays a significant role in maintaining health and preventing disease. For instance, a diet high in saturated fat can lead to increased levels of cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. However, it may come as a surprise to know that there is a link between nutrition and mental health.

It is true. Among other factors that contribute to mental illness, nutrition has been found to play a role. The brain places the greatest burden on our metabolism compared with every other organ; it is continuously demanding nutrients. A quart of blood passes through your brain every minute and is delivering vital nutrients and oxygen . Your brain is flooded with the chemicals and nutrients you ate over the last day!

A paper published in 2014 by the Journal of Physiological Anthropology identified that the transition away from a diet consisting of whole foods to one largely comprised of nutrient-poor and highly processed foods has been associated with increases in depression and other mental illnesses . Researchers in the field of nutritional psychiatry have documented the benefits of micronutrients and probiotics in treating mental illness. They have shown that they help treat depression, stress, anxiety and autism and ADHD.

To learn more listen to this TEDx,  “The Surprisingly Dramatic Role of Nutrition in Mental Health.”

Make no mistake, nutrition alone will not cure and treat all mental illness. Mental Illness is a complex disease and there are various contributing factors to both its development and treatment. However, it is fair to say that optimizing nutrition is a safe and viable way to help prevent, treat and lessen mental illness. To quote Hippocrates, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’ To get your started here are some awesome low-stress but healthy recipes.