Mental Health: Information, Research, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Mental Health & Nutrition



Index of Diseases / Health Conditions

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Nutrition that "feeds the brain" and reducing stress through relaxation and exercise are the cornerstones of physical and mental health.

A recent report by the British Mental Health Foundation known as "Feeding Minds" emphasizes the link between diet and mental health. According to this report, "the evidence indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems, such as depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer's disease."

The "Feeding Minds" report found that British people now eat 34% fewer vegetables and 59% less fish than 60 years ago. Fast and processed foods are almost always low in critical brain-supporting components, such as vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, and, instead, contain refined carbohydrates, saturated fats and additives, all of which are linked to irritability, mood swings and other mental issues. Additionally, this report points out that recent industrial farming have altered our food at the most basic level. Changes in feed have increased body fat composition of animals and farmed fish we eat -- as a result we now often take in a far higher ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s - a shift that has been linked with depression as well as deficits in memory and focus.


The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Mental Conditions and Their Underlying Nutritional Causes:

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

  • Anxiety & Nervousness:
    • Associated with a lack of folic acid, niacinamide, pyridoxine, magnesium and calcium.
      • Folic Acid occurs naturally in:
        • Leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, lettuces
        • Dried beans and peas
        • Sunflower seeds
        • Liver and liver products
        • Bakers yeast
      • Niacin / Niacinamide
        • Vitamin B3 is made up of niacin (nicotinic acid) and its amide, niacinamide, and can be found in many foods, including:
          • yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereal grains.
        • Dietary tryptophan is also converted to niacin in the body. Vitamin B3 is often found in combination with other B vitamins including thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin, and folic acid.
      • Pyridoxine:
        • A very good source of pyridoxine is dragon fruit from South East Asia. Pyridoxine is not normally found in plants and plants are not the principal source of this vitamin. This vitamin is made by certain bacteria. Some vegetarians may get adequate pyridoxine simply from eating plants that have traces of soil (like potato skins). Most people get their supply of this vitamin from either milk or meat products.
      • Magnesium:
        • Spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea, and vegetables (especially green leafy ones) - Note: Refining of food can reduce magnesium substantially, however, and fertilizers use less magnesium. This has led to observations of reduced dietary magnesium intake as compared to earlier generations
      • Calcium:
        • Dairy products, such as milk and cheese
        • Seaweeds such as kelp, wakame and hijiki
        • Nuts and seeds (like almonds and sesame)
        • Blackstrap molasses
        • Produce, such as beans; oranges; figs; quinoa; amaranth; collard greens; okra; rutabaga; broccoli; dandelion leaves; kale


  • Dementia and Alzheimer's disease:
    • Linked to an increased level of homocysteine, an amino acid metabolite associated with decreased levels of folate, Vitamins B-12 and B-6 (pyridoxine)
      • Vitamin B:
        • Potatoes, bananas, lentils, chile peppers, tempeh, liver oil, liver, turkey, tuna, Nutritional yeast (or brewer's yeast), molasses.
        • Marmite and Vegemite are "one of the world's richest known sources of vitamin B due to their high content of brewer's yeast
      • Folate:
        • Excellent Sources: Romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, calf's liver, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and lentils
        • Good Sources: Squash, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, papaya and string beans.
    • Also refer to: Alzheimer's Disease - The Facts


  • Depression / Bipolar Disease


  • Irritability.
    • Associated with a lack of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), magnesium and selenium.
      • Vitamin B-6 can be found in:
        • Excellent sources: spinach, bell peppers, turnip greens
        • Good sources: garlic, tuna, cauliflower, mustard greens, banana, celery, cabbage, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, cod, chard
      • Magnesium:
        • Spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea, and vegetables (especially green leafy ones) - Note: Refining of food can reduce magnesium substantially, however, and fertilizers use less magnesium. This has led to observations of reduced dietary magnesium intake as compared to earlier generations
      • Selenium:
        • Excellent Sources: Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, cod, shrimp, snapper, tuna, halibut, calf's liver, salmon
        • Good Sources: chicken's eggs, lamb, barley, sunflower seeds, turkey, mustard seeds, oats. Please note that barley contains gluten and must be avoided if you are a celiac patient or allergic to barley.


  • Poor memory and concentration.
    • Linked to a lack of B-12 and other B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc
      • Zinc occurs naturally in:
        • Excellent Sources: Calf's liver, crimini mushrooms and spinach are very good sources of zinc. Good sources include sea vegetables, basil, thyme, spinach, pumpkin seeds, yeast, beef, and lamb
        • Good Sources: Good sources include beef, lamb, summer squash, asparagus, venison, chard, collard greens, miso, shrimp, maple syrup, broccoli, peas, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and mustard greens.
      • Vitamin B:
        • Potatoes, bananas, lentils, chile peppers, tempeh, liver oil, liver, turkey, tuna, Nutritional yeast (or brewer's yeast), molasses.
        • Marmite and Vegemite are "one of the world's richest known sources of vitamin B due to their high content of brewer's yeast
    • Click here for more info on this subject.


  • Schizophrenia.
    • Patients suffering from this disorder have low levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids or antioxidant enzymes in the brain, and low levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)




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