Thursday, August 30, 2012

Diet for Mental Health Part 1

diet,food,nutrition,prebiotics,probiotics,nutrients,deficiencies,mental illness,depression,schyzophrenia,minerals,vitamins,wight loss,caffeine,sugar,fruits,vegetables,nutrient dense,
Berries -good sources of
 antioxidants& nutrients

What You Eat Affects Your Mood!

Inflammation is associated with psychiatric disorders,especially clinical depression.Psycho-social stress and anxiety can start the inflammatory response in the brain,10 this stress causes oxidation in the brain which  damages parts of the brain including the parts that regulate mood and can result in cells dying.This process increases your chance of depression and uses up nutrients like fatty acids,zinc and magnesium causing more damage to the brain.Antioxidants (lutein,lycopene,zinc,vitaminE,A,C,beta-carotene & selenium) can help as they protect body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.Omega 3 fatty acids,EPA specifically reduce inflammation.11 
A diet rich in antioxidants,nutrients and EPA will help your immune system and cells in both the brain to prevent and reduce symptoms of psychiatric illness.

Poor Nutrition is a Risk Factor for Mental Illness 3

Lack of sufficient,safe and nutritious food is associated with maternal depression and higher rates of behaviour problems in children .Strong evidence exists for improved health outcomes from diet low in fat, salt and sugar but high in fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates for all schoolchildren.1
Nutritional deficiencies affect the brain.For example iron deficiency is found in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.Omega–3 fatty acids,vitamin B & magnesium deficiencies have been linked to depression.The most common nutritional deficiencies seen in patients with mental disorders are of omega–3 fatty acids,B vitamins(e.g., folate),minerals & amino acids that are needed for the body to make neurotransmitters(like serotonin)2

Nutrient-Rich Diet 
From highest to lowest amount of nutrients per calorie with examples for each food category.
  •  Raw leafy green vegetables (lettuces except iceberg lettuce, spinach, kale, collards and Swiss chard)
  • Solid green vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and zucchini/eggplant/aubergine)
  • Non-green,non-starchy vegetables (mushrooms,onions,cauliflower,beetroot,baby corn)
  • Beans/Legumes (butter,soya & kidney beans,lentils,chickpeas)
  • Fresh Fruits (berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries have the most nutrients.They're also high in antioxidants.)
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes,squah)
  • Whole Grains (amaranth which is gluten free,barley,oats,spelt,wild rice,quinoa)
  • Raw Nuts & Seeds
  • Fish
  • Fat-Free Dairy
  • Wild Meat & Fowl
  • Eggs
  • RedMeat
  • Full-Fat Dairy
  • Cheese
  • Refined Grains (white bread/rice,corn-flakes,pretzels,crackers,doughnuts,pizza dough)
  • Refined Oils (canola,corn,butterwhole or clarified)
  • Refined Sweets
   High Nutrient Recipes

Probiotics & Prebiotics
Miso Soup-a probiotic
Also known as "friendly bacteria",they live in your gut.
Antibiotics can reduce friendly bacteria in the body. Taking antibiotics along with bifidobacteria might reduce the effectiveness of bifidobacteria. To avoid this interaction, take bifidobacteria products at least two hours before or after antibiotics.6
In addition the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum 299v 4 and Bacillus coagulans8 has been shown to help IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which tends to appear frequently with various symptoms related to central nervous system (CNS) as depression or personality disorders.4

A prebiotic should increase the number and/or activity of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria
(probiotics) helping digestion(including improving calcium and other mineral absorption) and strengthening the immune system.Probiotic foods include:raw onion & garlic,raw leek,raw chicory root,raw asparagus,raw dandelion greens,cooked onion, raw Jerusalem Artichoke,raw banana,oatmeal,flax,barleyberries,legumes(lentils,kidney beans,chickpeas).7,8

More research is needed but recent studies show a mind-gut connection.Stress affects our gut bacteria, which affect our immune system and cytokines.We know that increases in cytokines(various protein molecules secreted by cells of the immune system that serve to regulate the immune system) are related to changes in psychological states.

The bacteria in the gut can affect behaviour.
Working with healthy adult mice, researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behavior; the mice became either anxious or less cautious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to depression and anxiety.When the antibiotics were no longer given to the mice their gut bacteria became normal as well as their brain chemistry and behaviour.12

Probiotics in the gut are used by the brain to make neurochemicals
Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium     - GABA(known to reduce stress &anxiety)
Lactobacillus                                     -Acetylcholine
Bacillus, Serratia                                       - Dopamine
Escherichia, Bacillus, Saccharomyces                -Norepinephrine
Candida, Streptococcus, Escherichia, Enterococcus    -Serotonin

Even if Probiotics don't turn out to be a cure for mental illness,good digestion is still very important for your overall health and well-being.

Staying on a Healthy Diet-Avoiding Temptation

recipes,dieting,depressive episode,stocking up
To be able to stay on a healthy balanced diet it is a good idea to eliminate temptation by not having unhealthy food in the house and healthy alternatives.Having a back-up cupboard of healthy food that you can use when you are depressed and drained of all energy can help.Some suggestions are frozen fruit & veg,wholemeal pasta &crackers,sugar-free tomato sauce,dried fruit/muesli,nuts and seeds,canned vegetables/beans/fruit,frozen soup/other dinner...

Consult your doctor and nutritionist before making changes to your diet/exercise routine or if you are going to take dietary supplements and about the effects your medication may have on your nutrition levels/health/other medication you are taking.If you are going to increase the amount of fiber (whole grain) foods and probiotic foods in your diet it is a good idea to do this slowly as if you change too quickly you could get some temporary increase in gas, bloating/cramps or bowel movement... If you have a weakened immune system (e.g., you have HIV/AIDS or are undergoing cancer treatment), check with your healthcare provider before using probiotics.6

1European Psychiatric Association (EPA) guidance on prevention of mental disorders (2011)
3   Evidence for prevention of mental disorders
8Free Dictionary
9The The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living With Depression and Manic Depression
Mary Ellen Copeland;Matthew McKay



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