Hearing Voices, Nutrition and Diet

Recent evidence suggests that good nutrition is essential for our mental health and that a number of mental health conditions may be influenced by dietary factors.

One of the most obvious, yet under-recognised factors in the development of major trends in mental health is the role of nutrition. The body of evidence linking diet and mental health is growing at a rapid pace. As well as its impact on short and long-term mental health, the evidence indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nearly two thirds of those who do not report daily mental health problems eat fresh fruit or fruit juice every day, compared with less than half of those who do report daily mental health problems. This pattern is similar for fresh vegetables and salad. Those who report some level of mental health problem also eat fewer healthy foods (fresh fruit and vegetables, organic foods and meals made from scratch) and more unhealthy foods (chips and crisps, chocolate, ready meals and takeaways).

A balanced mood and feelings of wellbeing can be protected by ensuring that our diet provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water. While a healthy diet can help recovery, it should sit alongside other treatments recommended by your doctor.

(Extract from the Mental Health Foundation’s Diet and Mental Health Guide. See the full version here)


Feeding Minds A report published by the Mental Health Foundation in 2006 . This report lays out the evidence linking trends in food consumption with mental ill-health, and supports the case for an integrated approach to the treatment of mental health problems, identifying nutrition as a key component. You can download the report by clicking on the title.

Nutrients Table The full nutrients table from the Feeding Minds guide, with details of the types of nutrients that can help your mental health and the foods that contain them. You can download the table by clicking on the title.

Food and Mood Diary  A printable food and mood diary from the Mental Health Foundatiom that will help you understand how the way you feel is affected by what you drink and eat. You can download the diary by clicking on the title.

Mentally Healthy Recipes Download recipes from the Feeding Minds guide, including dishes by Anthony Worrall Thompson and other celebrities.

Food and mood A guide to food and mood produced by Mind , with information about what you can do to get support.  Many people are seeking to take control of their mental health using self-help, and to find approaches they can use alongside, or even instead of, prescribed medication. One self-help strategy is to make changes to what we eat, and there is a growing interest in how food and nutrition can affect emotional and mental health. Click on the title to read the full guide.

Eating well and mental health This leaflet produced by the Royal College of Psychiatry is for everyone who wants to eat healthily. It is particularly for people who feel that their mental health problem or its treatment has affected them in the way they eat.

Nutrition for Mental Health Issues – from Nutritionist Resource  Nutritional information and advice about nutrition and mental health problems – depression, seasonal affective disorder and schizophrenia.

Good Mood Food – Ingredients to Improve Your Mental Health  Improve your mental health with a good mood food shopping list of healthy ingredients to help with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder.

Food for the Brain  “The conventional treatment for schizophrenia is usually long-term treatment with antipsychotic medication. A nutritional approach works alongside conventional treatment and may improve both positive and negative symptoms, and also reduce the side-effects of medication”


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