Mental conditions such as depression and anxiety cannot be treated with medication alone. Amongst scientists and clinicians, there is a growing appreciation between diet and brain health. The evidence is preliminary, and it is still hard to tease out cause and effect but data continues to accumulate. A 2015 report in Lancet Psychiatry reads “Diet may be as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.
Every year the list of correlations between certain foods and mental well-being grows. Fish and other sources of Omega 3 fatty acids might help fend off psychoses and depression; fermented foods such as yoghurt, pickles, and sauerkraut seem to ease anxiety; green tea and antioxidant-rich fruits may help keep dementia at bay.
It is an exciting prospect that dietary intervention could serve a valuable adjunct to medication and other therapies for mental disorders. In the light of this evidence, a one-dimensional approach where only medication is considered is therefore limiting. A holistic approach needs to be followed by mental illness. This would include cognitive therapies that focus on thinking habits, exercise, and adequate sleep, each vital for healing and for that matter prevention.