The Healthy Diet Linked To Good Mental Health

Almost one-in-five suffer from mental illness, the study found.

Almost one-in-five suffer from mental illness, the study found.

A healthy diet is linked to good mental health, whatever your age and background, research finds.

People who avoid unhealthy foods — like fried and processed foods — have fewer symptoms of psychological distress.

Only around one-in-ten people in the US eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.

The recommended amount in the US is 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables.

In contrast, a poor diet is linked to poor mental health: sugar and processed grain are thought to be among the main culprits.

Dr Jim E. Banta, the study’s first author, said:

“This and other studies like it could have big implications for treatments in behavorial medicine.

Perhaps the time has come for us to take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health, because it could be that healthy diet choices contribute to mental health.

More research is needed before we can answer definitively, but the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.”

The study included data from over 240,000 people in California, which was collected across ten years.

The results revealed that 13% of people experienced moderate psychological distress, with 4% in severe psychological distress.

The study’s authors conclude that their study is…

“…additional evidence that public policy and clinical practice should more explicitly aim to improve diet quality among those struggling with mental health.


dietary interventions for people with mental illness should especially target young adults, those with less than 12 years of education, and obese individuals.”

A previous study found that the more fruit and vegetables people eat, the better their state of mind.

Eating just one extra portion of fruit and vegetables per day is enough to measurably improve mental well-being.

Just one portion has the same positive effect as going for a walk on 8 extra days a month.

The study was published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Banta et al., 2019).

This Vitamin Reduces Mental Health Problems By 50%

Around half the world’s population are thought to have an insufficiency of this vitamin.

Around half the world’s population are thought to have an insufficiency of this vitamin.

A triple dose of vitamin D3 supplementation in the first two years of life reduces the chance of mental health problems later on by around 50 percent, a high-quality experiment finds.

Infants who were given 30 µg of vitamin D daily, which is three times the recommended dose, were only half as likely to have internalising problems by age 6-8.

Internalising problems are those in which a person keeps their problems to themselves, including depression, anxiety, loneliness and withdrawal.

Dr Samuel Sandboge, the study’s first author, said:

“Our results suggest that a higher dose of vitamin D3 supplementation during the first years of life may reduce the risk of internalizing psychiatric symptoms in late preschool and early school age.”

Vitamin D and mental health

The randomised controlled trial, which was carried out in Finland, was inspired by the link found between low childhood vitamin D levels and mental health problems.

Almost 350 children were given either a dose of 10 µg or 30 µg of vitamin D from age 2 weeks until 2-years-old.

The results showed that at 6- to 8-years-old, almost 12 percent of children given 10 µg had significant internalising problems.

In the 30 µg group, though, this figure was under 6 percent.

No differences were seen in the number of externalising problems.

Externalising disorders include ADHD and conduct disorder.

Later in life externalising disorders include substance abuse, antisocial personality disorders and even psychopathy.

Dr Samuel Sandboge warned that the study has drawbacks:

“The results and their potential implications are interesting, but further research is needed to confirm the results.

In the interpretation of the results, we must note, among other things, that we studied the psychiatric symptoms only as parent-reported.

Furthermore, the participants of the study were children with Nordic ancestry living in Finland who had good levels of vitamin D.”

Widespread deficiency

Around half the world’s population are thought to have an insufficiency of vitamin D, and 10 percent are deficient.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the development of the brain.

It is notable that a rise in autism and ADHD rates has happened at a time when there have been significant drops in average levels of vitamin D.


The study was published in JAMA Network Open (Sandboge et al., 2023).

A Mental Sign Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Around one-in-eight people are low in vitamin B12.

Around one-in-eight people are low in vitamin B12.

Difficulties with memory and thinking skills can be signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, research finds.

Finding it hard to recall memories or to concentrate have both been linked to a deficiency in this vital vitamin.

The reason may be that vitamin B12 deficiency can accelerate cognitive aging.

In general, as people get older, their brains work less well.

However, having sufficient levels of vitamin B12 can help protect against this degradation in function.

Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to brain shrinkage and even Alzheimer’s disease by some research.

However, eating a diet high in critical nutrients, including B12, may help keep the brain from shrinking, research finds.

People with higher levels of omega-3, vitamin C, D, E along with B vitamins, also have better scores on tests of mental function, one study has found.

The study included 104 older people who were given tests of memory and thinking, with almost half having brain scans as well.

The results showed that one-quarter were deficient in vitamin D, while 7 percent were deficient in vitamin B12.

Those who had higher levels of critical nutrients had less brain shrinkage and higher scores on the memory and thinking tests.

Dr Gene Bowman, the study’s first author, said:

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet.”

The good news is that vitamin B12 is easy to correct either with supplementation or a change in diet.

Foods high in vitamin B12 include dairy, beef, salmon, eggs and low-fat milk.

Fortified breakfast cereals also contain vitamin B12.

People who may have difficulty getting enough vitamin B12 include vegetarians, older people and those with some digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease.

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Bowman et al., 2011).

6 Foods That Protect Against Memory Loss

The foods all contain an anti-inflammatory that combats age-related changes in the brain.

The foods all contain an anti-inflammatory that combats age-related changes in the brain.

Carrots, olive oil, celery, thyme, peppermint and chamomile can all help protect the memory against aging, research suggests.

All these foods contain luteolin, a flavonoid which is found in many plants.

Luteolin reduces inflammation in the brain that occurs with aging.

It does so by inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules in the brain.

The conclusions come from a study of mice, Professor Rodney Johnson, who led the study, explained:

“When we provided the old mice luteolin in the diet it reduced inflammation in the brain and at the same time restored working memory to what was seen in young cohorts.”

Working memory is vital to holding pieces of visual, verbal or other information in your mind while you manipulate them.

Better working memory has been linked to improved learning, attention and other vital outcomes.

Professor Johnson continued:

“We believe dietary luteolin accesses the brain and inhibits or reduces activation of microglial cells and the inflammatory cytokines they produce.

This anti-inflammatory effect is likely the mechanism which allows their working memory to be restored to what it was at an earlier age.

These data suggest that consuming a healthy diet has the potential to reduce age-associated inflammation in the brain, which can result in better cognitive health.”

Other common sources of luteolin include broccoli, green pepper, oregano and parsley.

Luteolin works, the study found, by acting directly on microglial cells.

The microglia are cells in the brain that help regulate normal functioning.

Professor Johnson said:

“We found previously that during normal aging, microglial cells become dysregulated and begin producing excessive levels of inflammatory cytokines.

We think this contributes to cognitive aging and is a predisposing factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases.”

For the study, younger and older mice were fed a control diet or one supplemented with luteolin for four weeks.

The results showed that older mice given the luteolin supplement performed almost as well as the younger mice in cognitive tests.

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition (Jang et al., 2010).

A Sign Of Omega-3 Deficiency In The Eyes

Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can prevent this serious disorder.

Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can prevent this serious disorder.

Problems with vision can be a sign of omega-3 deficiency, research suggests.

Age-related macular degeneration disorder is an eye disease which is linked to omega-3 fatty acids deficiency.

Macular degeneration is a common medical condition, affecting a large group of the population at age 40 and older.

Deterioration of the macula, an area of the retina, can result in losing central vision but not complete blindness.

A review of nine studies on 90,000 people found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a 38 percent reduction in the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats considered to be essential as our body cannot produce them and so they are obtained from the diet.

These type of fats are mostly found in oily fish (fatty fish) and have many health benefits, therefore they known as “good” fats.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are the main types of omega 3 fatty acids.

Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, herring, sardines, and fish oils, including cod liver oil, are high in EPA and DHA.

ALA is found in fats from plant foods such as nuts and seeds — walnuts and rapeseed are good sources of this nutrient.

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of sight loss which affects about 3 million people in the U.S. and more than 600,000 people in the UK.

Early signs of macular degeneration includes fuzzy, blurry and impaired vision, difficulty reading or seeing details like recognising faces or watching television.

A study found that having one or more servings of fish per week reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 42 percent.

The authors said:

“This lower risk appeared to be due primarily to consumption of canned tuna fish and dark-meat fish.”

Dark-meat fish in this study included salmon, sardines, bluefish, mackerel, and swordfish.

Knowing how dietary essential omega-3 fatty acids work can be useful in treating and prevention of different disorders.

It appears that DHA is the key since it generates signaling molecules called docosanoids where there is a disruption within cells due to a disease or an injury.

Docosanoids can protect neurons by controlling specific genes in the brain and retina and asking the genes how to respond.

Moreover, DHA from the liver is concentrated in photoreceptors, a type of cell in the retina that responds to light.

Retinal degeneration including macular degeneration occurs when photoreceptors cannot get enough DHA.

When a gene that controls the DHA uptake is turned off then photoreceptors die and mutation of an amino acid in these cells leads to a disorder of the eyes that causes loss of vision known as retinitis pigmentosa.

Two studies were published in Arch Ophthalmol (Chong et al., 2008); (Christen et al., 2011); the other study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (Asatryan et al., 2017).

A Facial Sign Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted through supplementation or by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted through supplementation or by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Facial pain can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency, research suggests.

The pain is sometimes felt just under the eye, in the cheekbone area, usually on only one side of the face.

The pain can also be felt across the forehead, occasionally coming down to the edge of the nose.

Twitches under the eye can also be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Other, more common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include feeling tired, experiencing muscle weakness and being constipated.

The study of facial pain included 17 people.

All were given injections of a vitamin B12 supplement over a four week period.

The results showed that supplementation alleviated the condition.

Another sign of vitamin B12 deficiency is cold sores.

The researchers found that the vitamin also successfully treated this condition, said Dr Baruah:

“It may be possible that having cold sores means there is an active herpes simplex virus located in the gasserian ganglion, indicating that there may be some compromise of that particular side and these trigeminal nerves are found to be more susceptible to deficiencies to vitamins, such as B12.”

Vitamin B12 deficiency is easy to rectify with supplements or by dietary changes.

The body uses vitamin B12 to make red blood cells and to keep the nervous system healthy.

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted through supplementation or by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Fortified breakfast cereals also contain vitamin B12.

Dr Jitendra K. Baruah, the study’s first author, said:

“It was somewhat unexpected that vitamin B12 deficiency can cause isolated facial neuralgia.

Treatment for facial neuralgia is sometimes very difficult, and patients may often go into multimodalities treatment without much success.

Knowing that this condition is remediable with vitamin B12 therapy, it is important to identify these patients and treat them accordingly.”

The study was published in the journal Pain (Koopman et al., 2009).

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Troubling Mental Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Taking a B12 supplement is one of the easiest ways to combat this problem. Adults need around 1.5 mcg per day.

Taking a B12 supplement is one of the easiest ways to combat this problem. Adults need around 1.5 mcg per day.

Depression can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency, another study finds.

People with low levels of vitamin B12 are at a 50 percent higher risk of depression.

Around one-in-eight older adults in Ireland, where the study was carried out, have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Many more people are not deficient but, nevertheless have low levels of vitamin B12.

Other signs of a prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency include memory issues, confusion, irritability, depression and even psychosis, which is starting to believe things that are not true.

Physical rather than mental symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include headaches, fatigue, breathlessness and pale skin.

Taking a B12 supplement is one of the easiest ways to combat this problem.

Adults need around 1.5 mcg per day.

For those who have problems with absorption, regular shots may be required.

Usually, symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency will clear up with treatment over time.

Dr Eamon Laird, the study’s first author, said that food fortification is one option:

“There is a growing momentum to introduce a mandatory food fortification policy of B-vitamins in Europe and the UK, especially since mandatory food fortification with folic acid in the US has showed positive results, with folate deficiency or low status rates of just 1.2% in those aged 60 years and older.”

The results come from an Irish study that followed almost 4,000 people across four years.

While a vitamin B12 deficiency was linked to depression, there was no connection with a folate deficiency.

Professor Rose Anne Kenny, study co-author, said:

“Given the rise in loneliness and depression in older adults after the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, this study highlights the importance of increasing B12 intake or supplementation to help mitigate against potential risk factors of depression in older adults. “

The study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition (Laird et al., 2021).

2 Antioxidant Vitamins That Slow Cognitive Decline

Cognitive performance over the lifetime improved by taking these antioxidant vitamins regularly.

Cognitive performance over the lifetime improved by taking these antioxidant vitamins regularly.

Antioxidants vitamin C and E may help to protect against some forms of dementia and improve cognitive performance over the lifespan, a study finds.

The research on over 3,000 Japanese-American men found that those taking vitamin C and E supplements regularly — at least once per week — were 88 percent less likely to have vascular dementia four years later.

Vascular dementia is the second most common from of dementia in the US, after Alzheimer’s disease.

The study also found that the men were 69 percent less likely to have other forms of dementia, apart from Alzheimer’s.

Dr Kamal Masaki, the study’s first author, said:

“We believe antioxidants like vitamin E and C may protect against vascular dementia by limiting the amount of brain damage that persists after a stroke.

The supplements may also play a role in providing protection against brain cell and membrane injury involved in many aging-related diseases, thus resulting in significantly higher scores on mental performance tests in later life.”

The Honolulu-based study also found that men taking the supplements had a 75 percent better chance of improved cognitive performance in later life.

However, the beneficial effect was not through the reduction in risk of stroke, Dr Masaki explained:

“We originally thought that the beneficial impact antioxidant vitamin supplements had against vascular dementia was the prevention of stroke.

However, to our surprise we found there was not a significant association between vitamin supplement use and clinically recognized stroke.”

Researchers did not find a protective effect of vitamin C and E supplementation on Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Masaki said:

“It is critically important for patients to practice preventive efforts shown to lower stroke risk and to have broad ranging beneficial effects.

More effective strategies for prevention also must be found.

Therefore, a prevention trial of both vitamin E and C to further examine the potential protective effects on both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is needed.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Masaki et al., 2000).

The Vitamin That Reduces Cancer Risk By 40%

Taking this supplement can fight cancer and greatly reduce the risk of dying from the disease.

Taking this supplement can fight cancer and greatly reduce the risk of dying from the disease.

Daily supplementation of cholecalciferol, also known as vitamin D3, can reduce the risk of fatal cancer by nearly 40 percent.

The link between vitamin D and cancer has captivated experts’ mind for years.

People in areas that receive higher amounts of sunshine and so high amounts of vitamin D have lower rates of death from many types of cancer.

Animal studies show that vitamin D slows the progression of cancer cells, but clinical studies on humans couldn’t give a certain answer until now.

The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) examined whether higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (vitamin D levels in the blood) has any connection with reducing the risk of lethal cancers.

They found that daily intakes of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 were associated with a 17 percent reduced risk in cancer.

But, an examination of participants with a normal BMI (body mass index) showed a risk reduction of 38 percent in these individuals.

This means that factors related to obesity such as excess body fat could lower the beneficial effect of vitamin D supplements.

Obesity has also been shown to damage the immune system, including destruction of natural killer cell function and long-term inflammation.

Dr Paulette Chandler, the study’s first author, said:

“These findings suggest that vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing advanced cancers.

Vitamin D is a supplement that’s readily available, cheap and has been used and studied for decades.

Our findings, especially the strong risk reduction seen in individuals with normal weight, provide new information about the relationship between vitamin D and advanced cancer.”

The five years VITAL research involved 25,871 adults who had no cancer at the start of the trial.

The study wanted to see the possible reduction in cancer death by a combination or individual effects of omega-3 and vitamin D supplementations.

Participants were put into four groups:

  • 2,000 IU vitamin D plus 1 g fish oil per day,
  • vitamin D plus placebo,
  • omega-3 plus placebo,
  • and the fourth group received only placebos instead of vitamin D with fish oil.

The discovery that BMI influences the role of vitamin D has also been suggested in previous studies.

Moreover, inflammation due to obesity would reduced vitamin D effectiveness by changes in vitamin D receptor function or vitamin D response.

Cancer patients have been found to be low in vitamin D with research suggesting that the deficiency rate is 72 percent among these sufferers.

More evidence also confirms that the higher someone’s body fat the bigger the risk of developing cancers.

Dr Chandler said:

“Our findings, along with results from previous studies, support the ongoing evaluation of vitamin D supplementation for preventing metastatic cancer—a connection that is biologically plausible.

Additional studies focusing on cancer patients and investigating the role of BMI are warranted.”

The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open (Chandler et al., 2020).

Eating This Food Is A Sign You Are Extraverted

What your diet says about your personality.

What your diet says about your personality.

Eating more meat is a sign of being extraverted, new research finds.

Vegetarians and vegans, meanwhile, are more likely to be introverted.

However, vegetarians also tend to be slimmer than their meat- eating peers.

This is probably because avoiding animal foods reduces the intake of fat and sugar.

Dr Veronica Witte, study co-author, is not sure exactly why vegetarians tend to be more introverted:

“It could be because more introverted people tend to have more restrictive eating habits or because they are more socially segregated because of their eating habits.”

The conclusions come from a study of 8,943 people in Germany who were given a test of personality, along with other measures.

The researchers had expected to find a link between diet and neuroticism, but did not.

Dr Witte said:

“Earlier analyses had found that more neurotic people were generally more likely to avoid certain groups of foods and to behave more restrictively.

We focused here solely on the avoidance of animal products and could not observe any correlation.”

People who are neurotic are more likely to experience depression and anxiety.

Indeed, some research finds that plant-based diets are linked to depression.

However, there was no evidence of this in the current study.

Dr Witte said:

“It is possible that in previous analyses other factors had blurred the results, including the BMI or conspicuous personality traits that are known to be associated with depression.

We accounted for them.”

The lower weight of vegetarians and vegans is less mysterious.

Ms Evelyn Medawar, the study’s first author, said:

“Products that are excessively rich in fat and sugar are particularly fattening.

They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety.

If you avoid animal foods, you consume fewer such products on average.

People who eat predominantly vegetable foods may therefore absorb less energy.”

The study was published in the journal Nutrients (Medawar et al., 2020).