What we eat is vital to our overall health. The nutrients we consume, as part of our diet, are critical for brain structure and function and, as a result they have a potentially profound impact on our mental health. An increasingly robust body of research points to the detrimental effect of unhealthy diets and nutrient deficiencies. And it highlights the protective value of healthy diets – along with select nutritional supplements as required – for maintaining and promoting mental health. Research literature suggests dietary improvement and nutritional interventions may help reduce the risk, or even arrest the progression, of certain psychiatric disorders.
The best nutritional advice is to cultivate an unprocessed wholefood diet, with judicious prescriptive use of nutrients. Clinical studies support the use of certain nutrients, which influence a range of neurochemical activities beneficial for treating mental disorders, as medicinal supplements. In the meanwhile, here are seven key nutrients that may positively influence brain health. Evidence from clinical research supports the use of several nutritional medicines for certain psychiatric disorders: omega-3 fatty acids; N-acetyl cysteine (NAC); S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe); zinc; magnesium; vitamin D; and B vitamins (including folic acid).