The Connection between Nutrition and Mental Health

The Connection between Nutrition and Mental Health

‘You are what you eat” is the old saying I remember my grandmother telling me. And she was so right. We now know that a lack of essential nutrients in our modern diets have been contributing to poor mental health outcomes in children, young adults and the older population. ADHD, Depression, and Anxiety are on the rise as well as type II diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. 

The latest research shows that many mental health conditions are caused
by inflammation in the brain, which can cause our brain cells to die or be altered.
Starting in our gut, this inflammatory response is associated with a lack of nutrients from our food.

As well as the soil being depleted of essential nutrients vital to our body's needs, so many of us consume a diet of fast processed foods, laden with sugar, salt, artificial additives, and chemicals.

In developed countries such as the UK, people eat a greater variety of foodstuffs
than ever before – but sadly they are not well nourished.
Nutrients vital to our overall health such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids,
probiotics, various vitamins and minerals are all essential for growth and mental

The latest research has shown that food supplements such as zinc, magnesium,
omega 3, and vitamins B and D3 can help improve people’s mood, relieve anxiety
and depression and in some cases even improve the mental capacity of people with Alzheimer’s. 

Magnesium supplementation has been shown in studies to significantly improve
depression and anxiety, regardless of age, gender or severity of depression.
Improvement did not continue when the supplement was stopped. 

Omega 3 fatty acids also play a critical role in the function and development of the
central nervous -system. A lack of this essential nutrient has been associated with
low mood, cognitive decline and poor comprehension. 

The role of probiotics which is the beneficial live bacteria in your digestive system
– has been shown to improve mental health outcomes. Psychiatrists and nutritionists, found that taking a daily dose of high-quality probiotics was associated with significant reductions in depression and anxiety. 

Obviously in an ideal world we should be getting all this from our food, cook from
scratch, consume fermented foods, and lead healthy life styles. Sadly, this isn’t oftenthe case so well sourced supplements may be needed.

Two great books on the subject that I recommend are by the well-known Harvard
Psychiatrist by Uma Naidoo M.D.  ‘Calm Your Mind with Food’ and ‘The Food Mood Connection’  (Hachette) 

Back to blog