“Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
What is Nutritional Psychiatry?
While the understanding of the vital role food plays in health and wellness is nothing new, the evidence-based science of nutritional psychiatry continues to grow and give more insight into the positive effect of good nutrition on mental health. The food that we eat on a daily basis can have a significant positive, or negative, impact on our mood and emotions. A healthy diet has been scientifically proven to allow for improvements in depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mental health-related conditions. At Agave Psychiatry we understand this fundamental relationship and stay up to date on the scientific research in nutritional psychiatry. Depending on the needs of our patients, our skilled clinicians can integrate this practice into your evaluation and help you with informed recommendations pertaining to mental health with the aid of diet and/or nutritional supplements.
Can Supplements Help My Mood?
While an adequate diet can address your nutritional needs, sometimes life’s demands can make the necessary meal planning and preparation for complete nutrition difficult to achieve. In these circumstances, nutritional supplements may play a role in allowing you to maximize your mental health improvements. The benefits of supplementation may complement other treatment recommendations for anxiety or depression. However, it is important to realize that this would not be the starting point if an individual is dealing with suicidal ideation or other severe symptoms.
What type of diet is best for my mental health?
Multiple recent studies have reported on the benefits of a Mediterranean diet for offering some protection against depression. This type of diet is believed to help control inflammation throughout our bodies which may offer mental health benefits. In general, this type of diet focuses on eating whole grains, beans, nuts, leafy greens, vegetables, and healthy fats that are found in olive oil and canola oil. It is advised that red meat is eaten in moderation with poultry and seafood eaten at least twice a week for protein sources.
Other diet recommendations for mental and physical health:
Avoid processed foods and meats.
There are concerning links that appear to be present between the consumption of processed meats and certain cancers. Many prepackaged meals contain large amounts of sodium and other unwanted preservatives.
Replace desserts with yogurt and fresh fruit.
Even small changes in your diet will add up over time.
Limit fast food and eating out.
It can be difficult to control the calorie content of food that is purchased from restaurants. When possible, strive to plan meals at home in order to allow for healthier options. When you are dining out, review the calorie and nutrient breakdown in order to make healthy choices.
Increase daily fiber intake.
This helps to optimize gut health and can help to limit feelings of hunger.
Limit sugary drinks.
Soda and coffee drinks can contain huge amounts of added sugar! This can lead to drastic increases in blood sugar and a subsequent “crash”. Find healthy replacements like seltzer water, unsweetened green or black tea, or coffee with small amounts of milk or soy additions.
Green is good!
Add leafy greens such as romaine, arugula, spinach, swiss chard, and collard greens as daily additions to your meals.
Add prebiotics and probiotics to your diet.
Prebiotics are fibers that help to feed the probiotics in our gut. Prebiotic foods include bananas, asparagus, garlic, onions, and leeks. Probiotic foods will supply the bacteria to perform their needed functions. Probiotic food sources include pickles, kimchi, yogurt (with active cultures), sauerkraut, and kombucha.
Find some ways to experiment with your diet and introduce new food sources that may offer many benefits!
What does my Doctor want to know about my Vitamins and Supplements?
If you are currently taking herbs, supplements, multivitamins, alternative medicine remedies, etc., please make a list or bring them with you to your initial appointment. This will help us better understand the steps you’ve been taking for your mental health and general well-being and help integrate and personalize your care. We are open to collaboration with other specialists you may be working with.
Next Steps in Nutritional Psychiatry
Recent nutritional psychiatry research has established relationships between nutrition and the treatment of depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and various other mental health conditions. For example, research has linked omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, fermented foods, vitamin D, n-acetyl cysteine, L-theanine, melatonin, folate, vitamin B12, thiamine, and many other vitamins and nutrients to positive mental health benefits. We use evidence-based science to assess certain laboratory markers related to nutrition in each patient. We also regularly use non-prescription supplements for the treatment of mental health conditions. Depending on your specific needs we can further personalize your assessment and treatment with this in mind.
Find out the difference nutritional psychiatry can make in your life by scheduling an appointment with us today. We offer convenient telepsychiatry appointments that fit your schedule.
Begin Nutritional Psychiatry Care in Arizona
What we put into our bodies has a direct correlation to not only our physical health but also our mental health. Learn more about the role Nutritional Psychiatry plays in maintaining mental health from our team of skilled clinicians who are here to help you understand and manage them effectively. At Agave Psychiatry we are committed to providing the best quality care to our clients so they can move forward with their lives in a positive and meaningful way. Follow the steps below to get started on your journey to healing.
- Get to know our skilled team of Clinicians here.
- Fill out our convenient online mental health contact form here.
- Begin your journey to healing!
Other Online Mental Health Services offered at Agave Psychiatry
In addition to anxiety treatment, we also offer a wide variety of other mental health services. These include treatment for Depression, ADHD, Insomnia, PTSD, Eating Disorders, and Anxiety. In fact, we offer online treatment for both adults and children, and adolescents in the state of Arizona.