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Q. How does diet help in mental health conditions?

Answered by
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 19, 2017 and last reviewed on: Mar 24, 2021

Hi doctor,

How does diet help in mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety? I would like to discuss the success of incorporating diet in mental health treatment.

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Some research studies prove the role of diet in mental disorder mainly mood disorders like depression and anxiety disorders.
  • In general, diets rich in proteins especially aromatic amino acid proteins, complex carbohydrates and low fats help to improve serotonergic neurotransmission in the brain and thus contribute to reducing depression and anxiety. Animal foods like meat, eggs, milk and curd are an excellent source of proteins.
  • Diets rich in omega 3 fatty acids are advised to the patients of depression and other psychiatric disorders. Walnuts, salmon fish, sardine fish, etc., are the rich source of these fatty acids. These diets supplement the actions of the antidepressants and help in quicker recovery.
  • The role of vitamin B12 gone unrecognized for years in mental disorders. Vitamin B12 levels are found in lower range especially in vegetarians or who avoid animal foods.
  • Lower B12 levels are responsible for increased risk of some mental disorders like anxiety, phobias and depression. Diets rich in vitamin B12 like animal foods, curd and milk help to improve the response of medicines.
  • For improving mental health treatment, diets rich in vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids and aromatic amino acid proteins will help.

For further information consult a psychiatrist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist


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