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Why diet is important for mental and brain health

Explore why diet is important for mental and brain health. through the mechanisms linking dietary intake, mental and brain health.

Observational evidence points to strong links between dietary intake and mental health symptoms.

There are several close co-morbid links between mental and physical health:

  • Individuals with serious mental disorders have a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even some cancers.
  • Individuals with depression are also at an increased risk for cardiometabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, while those disorders – in turn – increase the risk of depression.
  • Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders are much more likely to have a higher prevalence of adverse mental symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.
  • Individuals with depression commonly report gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation and bloating.

Your task

Watch the interview with Professor Felice Jacka at the start of the Step, discussing the known mechanisms that link dietary intake and mental and brain health.

As you watch, consider the following question:

  • What do you think about the physiological mechanisms explaining the impact of diet on mental and brain health?
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Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition

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