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  • Tamara Cavenett

You are what you eat: how to eat your way to good mental health.

An ever increasing amount of research suggests that healthy diets can promote good mental health by decreasing the risk or progress of certain psychiatric disorders.

Therefore certain nutrients have the potential to be used as medicinal supplements!

At present research is insufficient and not at the stage of naming particular foods and therefore I encourage you to seek advice from a qualified health professional and consult your doctor.

Some nutrients that have been suggested include:

1. Omega-3

Linked to benefits in symptoms of depression, bipolar depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis. Omega-3 fats can be found in nuts, seeds and oysters, although the highest amounts exist in oily fish.

2. B vitamins and folate

Folate (B9) deficiency linked to depression and those who respond poorly to antidepressants. Leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, unprocessed meats, eggs, cheese, dairy, and whole grains.

3. Amino acids

Linked to benefits in bipolar depression, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other compulsive and addictive behaviours. Amino acids are found in any source of protein i.e. meats, seafood, eggs, nuts and legumes.

4. Minerals

Deficiency in zinc has been linked to depression and iron to anxiety and depression symptoms.

5. Vitamin D

There’s little evidence to support the use of vitamin D supplements for preventing depression.

6. High sugar, fat and highly processed foods.

All linked to depression and poor brain health.

Please get advice from a qualified health professional and consult your doctor before making diet changes or taking supplements.

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Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius at

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