Why Psychiatry & Nutrition Need to Go Together

It’s not news that the foods we eat have a powerful impact on our mental health. There are so many studies linking our moods to our diets.

The Mediterranean diet, for example, has been linked time after time to a reduction in depression and mood disorders. But believe it or not, we’ve only been investigating the link between diet and mood for the last decade.

There’s still a lot to learn.

A More Holistic Approach to Psychiatry

Nutritional psychiatry is a growing facet in the mental health industry. In it, professionals prescribe foods that will nourish the brain in the best possible way, giving the brain the tools it needs to fight inflammation and rebalance.

This nutrition-inclusive mindset makes sense. Your brain is constantly churning 24/7—as the powerhouse of the body, it never really gets a break. It needs high-quality, nourishing fuel to keep it functioning smoothly, a lot like a sports car. Give it the wrong fuel (or a low grade of fuel), and you might do some costly damage.

When you think of it that way, it’s amazing that nutrition isn’t already an essential component of any mental wellness protocol.

As more and more mental health professionals turn to nutrition to provide relief for depression, anxiety and low self esteem, here are three widely-researched nutrition principles that exert some of the most powerful control over our moods.

Food rich in omega 3 fatty acid and healthy fats. Healthy diet eating concept

Omega 3s

The omega 3s found in seafood have been linked to a reduction in anxiety symptoms, thanks to their impressive anti-inflammatory properties.

In one study, people who consumed omega 3s experienced a whopping 20 percent decrease in anxiety symptoms. Spirulina and fatty, cold water fish like salmon, sardines and anchovies are packed with omega 3s. For vegans, flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are good sources of the fatty acid.

Refined Sugar

Studies have shown that those who replace the sugar-rich foods in their diets with nutrient dense, fiber-rich produce experienced an improvement in their depression symptoms.

It’s not rocket science. Eat less inflammatory sugar and replace it with more anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich produce, and the brain is better able to fight off mood imbalancing inflammation.

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Probiotics

Studies have shown that probiotic supplements (or fermented foods) tend to improve our anxiety levels and perception of stress. Good bacteria in the gut ease digestion and lower inflammation, and thanks to the brain-gut axis, they do the same for your brain.

Who knew that bacteria, fatty acids and antioxidants could have such a powerful hold on our moods and outlook?! And it doesn’t end there. If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition-based psychiatry, look for someone who has training in both mental health and nutrition.

Remember, mental wellness isn’t just about your thought patterns. Your diet, your lifestyle, your fitness and your self care/mindfulness all play big roles—it is your brain, after all.

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70 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson2 days ago

Thank you.

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Tania N
Tania N7 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N7 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N7 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Lesa D
Lesa D9 days ago

thank you Jordyn...

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Lisa M
Lisa M12 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M12 days ago

Thanks.

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Angeles M
Angeles M13 days ago

Good info! Thank you

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Sandra V
Sandra V14 days ago

Thanks

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Sandra V
Sandra V14 days ago

Thanks

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