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This content is taken from the Deakin University & Food & Mood Centre 's online course, Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds TETYANA ROCKS: Hello, and welcome to week 2. I hope you enjoyed week one. It was a week filled with foundational knowledge that has set you up for learning about how diet and nutrition might influence mental and brain health. This week, we will look at the mechanisms of diet and nutrition in mental and brain health. This includes focusing in on special diets, misconceptions and myths, and two of the most widely discussed mechanisms linking diet and brain, inflammation and gut microbiome. We will continue to refer to the latest research and interview expert researchers. We’ll unpack why diet is important for mental and brain health, the gut-brain axis, and the rising support for the use of nutraceuticals and mental health.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds By the end of the week, you’ll have more information to answer the question we asked in week 1, how can we optimise mental and brain health through diet and nutrition? I hope you enjoyed the week, and I look forward to reading your comments.

Let's get started

Welcome back to Week 2 of Food and Mood.

Last week, we explored the current evidence on diet and mental health, and looked at some foundational concepts.

This week, we’ll focus on two important biological concepts that may help explain the mechanisms of action in diet and mental and brain health: inflammation and the gut microbiome.

We’ll also hear from the experts in research in mental health on:

  • the close connections between mental and physical health
  • the gut-brain axis, or bi-directional communication between the gut and the emotional and cognitive centres in our brain
  • the latest recommendations on the use of dietary supplements.

We will also learn how to evaluate the evidence and make an informed choice.

Let’s start Week 2 by discussing different diets.

Your task

What are the key words that come to mind when you think of the mechanisms that might explain why diet is associated with mental health?

Discuss these in the comments below.


Individuals and pathologies vary greatly. None of the opinions discussed as part of this course are designed, nor intended to be an offer to treat, prescribe or give dietary or nutrition advice to individuals with health conditions, physical or mental. The research, opinions and content presented throughout the course should in no circumstance be solely relied upon by any learner. If a learner is suffering from a particular health condition being discussed during the course, they should always seek medical advice from a qualified practitioner.

During this course, you will be asked to share information and thoughts that some people may find sensitive. Please only share what you are comfortable with. If you need help, please reach out to your local health practitioners.

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This video is from the free online course:

Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition

Deakin University