It’s the minority in our society who take seriously the necessity to consumer more holistically-grown, nutritious foods to ward away diseases of ALL kinds in the future. While ‘food as medicine’ is growing in popularity, health care of the present has yet to optimize the approach as fully as possible to provide the best patient care needed.
In a new article, the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research encourages the recognition of diet and nutrition as central determinants for both physical and mental health. According to the scientists, a good diet is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology.
Nutrition “has become a key factor for the high prevalence and incidence of very frequent mental diseases, such as depression,” Dr. Vicent Balanzá, a university lecturer and psychiatrist at La Fe University Hospital, stated in a press release. “It has been proven that the quality of diet and the deficiencies in certain essential nutrients are determining factors for physical and mental health.
Such has been explored before, but in convicts supplemented with zinc to lower their copper levels. What resulted was astounding – read about that HERE.
The article goes on to share that to perform optimally, the human brain requires “an adequate intake of key nutrients, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3, essential amino acids, B-group vitamins … vitamin D, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and iron.”
Balanzá points to the Mediterranean diet as providing all of these nutrients and vitamins, while advising people take nutritional supplements if they experience a deficiency.
In the past, his research has focused on neurocognitive functioning in schizophrenia and biopolar disorders. But more recently, Balanzá has examined nutritional interventions aimed at improving cognition.
The International Society for Nutritional Research Psychiatry states its intention is to support scientifically rigorous research into nutritional approaches for both prevention and treatment of mental disorders. Balanzá is a key member of this society.
On the society’s website, a number of studies highlight the effectiveness of nutrients in treating ADHD symptoms in adults. One cited article examines a review of multiple studies and finds omega-3 fatty acids may have antidepressant effects in patients with major depressive disorder, though perhaps not “mood-improving” effects for people suffering from non-clinical symptoms of depression. Another study concludes that fermented foods, such as Kimchi and sauerkraut, have beneficial effects on mental health, particularly with regard to depression, via their positive effects on gut microbiota.
“Psychiatry is at an important juncture, with the current pharmacologically focused model having achieved modest benefits in addressing the burden of poor mental health worldwide,” wrote Balanzá and his coauthors in their current article.
The authors state that the “emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition is a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders.” They suggest diet be addressed whenever seeking to cure mental illnesses.
This means that the next step is to begin making food your medicine. Start cleaning up your diet, introduce more bio-dynamic, nutrient-dense organic foods into your meal times, and work with an experienced nutrition counselor to positively impact your mental, emotional, and physical health through the foods you consume.
Sarris J, Logan AC, Akbaraly TN, et al. Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2015.