Nutritional Psychiatry and Brain Health

A human brain is always “on” – it helps coordinate movements, takes care of your breathing, senses, and heartbeat. It works 24/7, even when you are asleep. That’s why it requires a constant supply of fuel, which comes from the food you eat. An increasing number of researchers are concluding that diets with critical nutrients support brain health and play a key role in treating mental disorders.

What’s nutritional psychiatry?

Nutritional psychiatry is a unique approach that uses food (diet) and supplements in supporting brain health and in the treatment of mental health disorders. Indeed, accumulating scientific evidence suggests that nutritional treatment can help treat, prevent, or improve symptoms of bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, autism, eating disorders, ADD/ADHD, and schizophrenia. The entire scientific community is beginning to realize how food is strongly linked to human brain health.

In a 2015 study, a group of researchers concluded that the compelling evidence for nutrition is a critical factor in the prevalence and incidence of mental health disorders, suggests that nutrition is crucial to psychiatry as it is to endocrinology, cardiology, and gastroenterology. As scientific evidence mounts, it is clear that what you eat matters when it comes to your brain or mental health.

What does nutritional psychiatry mean for you?

Begin by paying attention to the different foods you eat and how they make you feel in the moment and the following day. Try to eat a “clean” diet for about three weeks. That means you must cut out sugar and processed foods. Document your progress and how you feel. Consult with a nutritionist or an expert who understands nutritional psychiatry to help you make the right dietary choices.

Wrap up

When most people “go clean” in terms of dietary choices, they can’t believe how much better they feel emotionally and physically or how much worse they feel when they reintroduce some foods known to worsen inflammation. The burgeoning field of nutritional psychiatry has found a correlation between your diet and how you feel and behave. Work with a nutritionist to learn and benefit from nutrition psychiatry.