It's True: You Are What You Eat — And so is Your Mood
Nutrition is Important. Feed your brain.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Drew Ramsey, M.D. stated at the American Psychiatric Association 2013 Annual Meeting that the human brain needs the correct nutrition to function properly.1 Four-hundred twenty calories, to be exact, as well as a proper amount of omega-3 fatty acids; folate; fiber; iron; zinc; vitamins B12, D, and E; and many other nutrients.1 Ramsey stated that this does not include what is needed for the rest of the human body to function on a healthy basis—only the brain; therefore, psychiatrically, it is of great importance for individuals who suffer from mental illness to eat a healthy and vitamin-rich diet.1
Nutrition: Eat your fruits and vegetables.
During his workshop, entitled “Prescription Brain Food: From Bench to Table,” Ramsey brought light upon research that has led to this finding.1 One study followed 10,094 initially healthy participants for a period of 4.4 years.2 Participants were asked to follow a Mediterranean dietary pattern for which they were scored positively for vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereal, legumes, and fish.2 Meat and whole-fat dairy had a negative impact on their score.2 It was found that participants who did not follow the diet and did not get the proper nutrition were at a higher risk of depression and other mood disorders.2
Nutrition and Mental Disorders.
Another study built upon these findings, and found that this is true across all life stages.1 Seven-thousand one-hundred fourteen participants aged 10 to 14 were given a dietary questionnaire to determine the quality of their diets.3 They were also given the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire to determine depression.3 Those who did not eat a healthy and balanced diet had a 79 percent higher rate of depression compared with those who did eat well.3
Therefore, it is important for treating physicians to go over nutrition with their patients, see what their dietary patterns are, and encourage a healthy balanced diet.1 Referrals to a dietician are always helpful.1 Ramsey believes that patients will not only be eating healthier, but they will also be building a healthier brain.1
 Duerr, H. A. (2013, May 23). You Are—And Your Mood Is—What You Eat. Psychiatric Times. Retrieved May 28, 2013, from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/conference-reports/apa2013/content/article/10168/2143124
 Sánchez-Villegas A, Delgado-Rodríguez M, Alonso A, et al. Association of the Mediterranean dietary pattern with the incidence of depression: the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra/University of Navarra follow-up (SUN) cohort. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66:1090-1098. Available at http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=210386.