Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

Your Mind Needs Good Nutrition as Much as Your Body


“Nutrition matters. Poor nutrition is a significant and modifiable risk factor for the development of mental illness.”  

That’s the bottom line for clinical psychologist Julia Rucklidge. In her recent TED talk, she reviews a multitude of rigorous studies backing up the claim. 

Don’t we have drugs for mental illness, though? Yes, but as Rucklidge also observes, there’s growing evidence that such medications become less effective or downright harmful in the long term. While they are often the single most effective immediate treatment for mental illness, their extended use is another matter. For many if not most patients, long-term use is hazardous. Rucklidge cites numerous studies showing that antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs can lose their efficacy, impede recovery, or lead to new and serious ailments in those who use them too long.  

Good nutrition, by contrast, has no downside—and almost too many upsides to name. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are as basic to good health as anything we can consume. Barriers to getting enough of them can include the cost and availability of fresh vegetables and fruits, the time to prepare and eat them, and the competing allure of processed food and junk food. While nothing can replace “real” food altogether, supplements can also be helpful for many people. 

The key takeaway is that you need those micronutrients. A lot. “To me the message is clear,” Rucklidge tells us. “A well-nourished body and brain is better able to withstand ongoing stress and recover from illness.”  

fruit with eggs, meat and salad

Don’t neglect this simple foundation of both mental and physical health. 


Related Posts from "What's News"

Fentanyl Deaths In Communities of Color: A Crisis “Decades In the Making”

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals the unequal effects of the opioid crisis on Black, Native American, Hispanic, and white populations in the United States. Fentanyl deaths in particular have skyrocketed for all groups—but far more so in Black communities. Understanding the lasting effects of discrimination is essential, both for grasping the problem and seeking solutions.

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Takes Its Caring to the Next Level

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) affects nearly 6% of Americans at some point in their lives, but research, treatment, and support for the condition lags far behind other serious mental illnesses. Paula Tusiani-Eng and her parents know first-hand what it’s like to live with, and eventually lose, a loved one suffering from BPD. Their story is remarkable not just because of those challenges, but because of what they decided to do next.


In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)