Nutrition & Mental Health
“Although the determinants of mental health are complex, the compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that diet is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology”. -Dr. Jerome Sarris, PhD on behalf of The International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research
Diets with foods
that trigger inflammation result in 29-41% greater risk for depression.
Harvard researchers found that in women, diets high in foods that trigger inflammation (sugar-sweetened or diet soft drinks, refined grains, red meat, and margarine) and fewer foods that prevent inflammation (wine, coffee, olive oil, and green leafy and yellow vegetables) have a greater risk of being diagnosed with depression than those who eat mostly the less inflammatory diet.
Omega-3s may protect against schizophrenia.
In a 2010 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, 81 people at extremely high risk of schizophrenia took 1.2 g of omega-3s or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Almost 30% in the placebo group had developed the disorder compared with 5% in the omega-3s group! The daily dose given was capsules provided 700 mg of EPA , 480 mg of DHA, and 7.6 mg of mixed tocopherol (vitamin E).
Omega-3s help some aspects of bipolar disorder.
In a research review published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2011, research showed that omega-3s had a significant effect on bipolar depression but not on bipolar mania.
Low omega-3 levels are associated with suicide and self-harm.
The researchers compared levels of omega-3 fatty acids of 800 individuals who committed suicide with those of 800 randomly selected controls. They found that all the service members had low omega-3 levels, and that suicide risk was greatest among individuals with the lowest levels of DHA, the major omega-3 fatty acid concentrated in the brain.
can a Dietitian help?
Creating an anti-inflammatory meal plan:
- Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Fatty fish, chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed oil
- Vitamin C:
- Yellow peppers, guava, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits
- Vitamin E
- Seeds, nuts, vegetable oils
- Cocoa powder, oregano, celery seed, dark chocolate, flaxseed meal, sage, rosemary, spearmint, thyme, capers, basil, curry, strawberries and coffee
- Citrus fruits, apples, cocoa, onions, celery, tea, berries, coffee, olive oil, grains, peanuts, red wine
- Prebiotics and probiotics
- Artichokes, onions, yogurt, kefir
Which to choose?
I take the Target brand 100% Wild Alaskan fish oil, which has 720mg omega-3s per serving (which is TWO soft gels). This is a cost effective ($4.79) and crustacean shellfish free option with no fishy aftertaste!
Feeling fancy? Try a liquid with passion pineapple or strawberry banana flavor!
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
Ready for your sparkly new meal plan? Please visit www.CassandraGolden.com to get started on your FREE initial nutrition consultation!