- Does the food we eat affect our mental health?
- Does an unbalanced diet exacerbate anxiety and depression?
- Can certain foods improve mood or mental cognition?
- Do mental health challenges result in poor dietary choices?
Nutritional psychiatry – the relationship between diet and mental health is an emerging area of research – and has the potential to support improvements in individual health outcomes and guide future public health policy.
European researchers believe there is emerging evidence to suggest that diet and nutrition may affect mental wellbeing, mood, susceptibility to stress, and mental function throughout the lifespan. However, while there is a widespread opinion about the links between healthy eating and mental health, further research is needed to confirm this link.
Current data on nutrition and mental health is limited and correlational, and therefore, it is unknown if the relationship is causal, nor the direction of that relationship. A multitude of other factors such as age, life stage, occupation, level of activity, co-morbidities and psychological diagnosis may also influence this relationship.
The authors of the commentary published in European Neuropsychopharmacology call for further research to improve understanding of the bidirectional relationships between nutrition, mental health and brain functioning. Such research can inform strategies to support healthy eating and guide the development of evidence-based interventions to improve diet or mental health and wellbeing.
Read the full article here.
Authors that contributed are: Adan, van der Beek, Buitelaar, Cryan, Hebebrand, Higgs, Schellekens, and Dickson (2019)