Healthy Foods For Mental Illness: Can Certain Food Help?

Healthy Food and Mental Illness

Healthy food for mental illness, there is no specific or magic food for preventing mental illness, the thing is to consume healthy food.

A healthy diet plays an important role in maintaining overall well-being, where it is necessary to live a happy and healthy life.

But what precisely is a healthy food? a healthy food directs to eating healthy food like:

  • Vegetables, especially green vegetables like kale, spinach, etc
  • protein-related food like
  • fruits
  • healthy fat like nuts, and seeds
  • avoiding excessive processed food

What is the importance of consuming a healthy diet on overall health? prevents a person from:

  • Several health concerns
  • reduce medical expenses
  • encourages or motivates you to do extra

Here are some specific foods (contain vitamins and minerals) which considered best for maintaining good mental health:

Overall, eating healthy food is an excellent tool for maintaining mental health, change your diet plan, and you will see many benefits.

Remember if you notice and experience any mental issues, like trauma, then you should talk to your doctor.

A girl is sitting on the sofa with her knees up
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Affect Mental Health

Common Mental illness

Here are the most common mental illnesses given, if anyone suffers from this, then they should talk to a professional medical doctor for help.


It is probably not a mental illness, but if it increases to an extent level it may contribute to several mental illnesses like anxiety.

Stress is good but a certain period of time, motivates us to do things.

Excessive stress triggers your reproductive health, by affecting testosterone levels, increase in blood pressure, and raising the risk of heart attack.


It is a leading cause of mental illness, where excessive anxiety leads to fear (a common sign).

Women are more inclined to stress than men, and your genes play a vital role in the growth of anxiety disorder (4)

Day by day increase in anxiety, one day triggers other mental issues like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), depression, and so on.

New research has shown that people with anxiety have different gut microorganisms than normal in-anxiety people.


Excessive stress and anxiety lead to depression (which is a serious mental illness, that affects feelings, thoughts, behaviour, and so on.

A new demonstration reveals that depression has a lower level of protein called (BDNF), a vital growth and survival of brain cells.

Depression is a feeling of hopelessness and sadness, that interacts with your daily life like eating, working, sleeping, etc.

Bipolar Disorder

It is another common mental disorder, that causes severe mood swings episodes.

People with bipolar disorder experience high energy, excitement, happiness, anger, irritability, fatigue, ROS is high, thoughts, and so on.

These people will be happy at one time and very sad at other times, and also experience depression signs like sadness, hopelessness, etc.

A study reveals that people with bipolar disorder have a different brain network, than normal individuals.


It is a serious mental illness like depression, but symptoms are different from depression, where a person experiences:

  • illusion
  • hallucinations
  • behaviour change
  • lack of attention
  • things that should be real but not
  • lack of motivation

A study revealed that people with this disorder have different mental states, and immune systems, which contribute in order illness.

Can Certain Foods Help with Mental Illness?

Yes, there are several foods that help in reducing mental disorder symptoms, and also reduce the chance of raising mental issues.

Here are certain foods that are considered best for preventing and reducing mental illness:

a man and women eating healthy food

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

It is a vital protein for the human body, which is found in fatty fish like – salmon, tuna, nuts, seeds, oils, and supplements.

Lack of omega-3 in the body leads to inflammation, itchy, increased chance of mental disorders, joint issues, slow healing, and so on.

There are several benefits of omega-3 fatty acids including:

  • Promote heart health
  • good for brain development, especially for children
  • promote stomach health
  • help in weight loss, make sure to exercise also
  • prevent disease risk
  • good for pregnant women

Omega-3 is good for pregnant and breastfeeding women by maintaining a healthy weight, and brain growth, reducing pregnancy issues.


Yogurt is the best source of probiotics (live microorganisms that are found in food) which contribute to a maintaining healthy gut.

A 4-week study revealed that a person who consumed yogurt had an increased number of probiotics in the gut called lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.

The best probiotic food sources:

  • Yogurt
  • kefir
  • fermented food
  • kimchi
  • miso

A study of 74 students (who were preparing for examination) consumed probiotics, resulting shown a lowering in cortisol levels.

Amino Acids

It is a building block of protein which is vital for a healthier life, there are 20 different types of amino acids that are majorly found in protein.

The best sources of amino acids are:

  • Chia seeds
  • soy protein
  • buckwheat
  • quinoa
  • animal-based protein like meat, chicken, eggs, etc
  • spirulina

A study on amino acids found that they reduce the symptoms of depression and other mental health issues.

Several studies demonstrate that a lack of nutrients like omega-3, and amino acids may become a triggering point of mental disorder.

Vitamin B

Yes, it plays a vital role in preventing mental woes, there are several vitamins B including – B12, B1, B6, and B9 (2).

Research shows that vitamin B12 shortage is allied with irritability, personality change, sadness, dementia, and psychosis.

One more study demonstrates that the lack of vitamin B12 is connected with an increase in depression.

The best source of vitamin B-12 including vegetarian and non-vegetarian is:

  • Eggs
  • liver, kidney
  • beef
  • fatty fish
  • meat
  • soybean
  • dairy products
  • leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach
  • tempeh
  • quinoa

There is no specific food for mental illness, however, there are several other foods that contribute to reducing the risk of mental disorders.


A 2019 examination showed that folate supplements help with bipolar disorder and depression by reducing symptoms.

Folate is found in several foods and here are the foods such as:

  • Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, etc
  • citrus fruits like star fruits, oranges, etc
  • liver
  • eggs
  • legumes such as beans and lentils

If you going to talk about folate supplements, first talk to your doctor, especially if you are already on medications.


It is a yellow-coloured chemical that is often found in turmeric, and other fields of cosmetics, food colouring, and several medicines.

12 studies on curcumin’s effect on mental health show that it is allied with reducing depression symptoms compared to placebo.

Curcumin has several other benefits such as:

  • Reduce the risk of type II diabetes
  • improve digestion
  • help in fast wound heal
  • treat liver diseases
  • fight with cancer cells
  • treat arthritis

If you are on medication, then it is vital to talk to your doctor, before taking any curcumin supplement, it may interact with medicines.

To prevent mental illness you have to do exercise also, which is another best way to elevate your mood and reduce cortisol levels.

Down line

There is no specific food to stop mental disorders, but there are several other eats that reduce the risk of mental disorders.

There are several foods like – eggs, yogurt, fatty fish like salmon, and tuna, green vegetables, seasonal fruits, nuts, seeds, and so on.

Consume more healthy food instead of processed food, which contributes to poor mental health and may worsen the situation.

If you are on medication or medical condition, then talk to your doctor first, it may interact with your condition.

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