Book: Nutrition and Mental Health: A Handbook

Book Title:

Nutrition and Mental Health: A Handbook: An Essential Guide to the Relationship Between Diet and Mental Health.

Author(s): Michael Crawford, Oscar Umahro Cadogan, Alexandra J. Richardson, and Martina Watts.

Year: 2008.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd.

Type(s): Hardcover and Paperback.


The role of nutrition is fundamental to human health and well-being.

It is, however, often overlooked when treating people with mental health problems.

Book: SNAP Matters

Book Title:

Snap Matters – How Food Stamps Affect Health And Well-Being (Studies in Social Inequality).

Author(s): Judith Bartfield, Craig Gundersen, Timothy Smeeding, and James P. Ziliak (Editors).

Year: 2015.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Stanford University Press.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.


In 1963, President Kennedy proposed making permanent a small pilot project called the Food Stamp Programme (FSP). By 2013, the programme’s fiftieth year, more than one in seven Americans received benefits at a cost of nearly $80 billion. Renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme (SNAP) in 2008, it currently faces sharp political pressure, but the social science research necessary to guide policy is still nascent.

In SNAP Matters, Judith Bartfeld, Craig Gundersen, Timothy M. Smeeding, and James P. Ziliak bring together top scholars to begin asking and answering the questions that matter. For example, what are the antipoverty effects of SNAP? Does SNAP cause obesity? Or does it improve nutrition and health more broadly? To what extent does SNAP work in tandem with other programmes, such as school breakfast and lunch? Overall, the volume concludes that SNAP is highly responsive to macroeconomic pressures and is one of the most effective antipoverty programmes in the safety net, but the volume also encourages policymakers, students, and researchers to continue examining this major pillar of social assistance in America.

What is the Effect of Nutrition on Mental HEalth?

Research Paper Title

The Effect of Nutrition on Mental Health: A Focus on Inflammatory Mechanisms.


Neuropsychiatric disorders are closely associated with a persistent low-grade inflammatory state.

This suggests that the development of psychopathology is not only limited to the brain, but rather involves an additional systemic aspect, accounting for the large body of evidence demonstrating co-presentation of mental illness with chronic inflammatory conditions and metabolic syndromes.

Studies have shown that inflammatory processes underlie the development of neuropsychiatric symptoms, with recent studies revealing not only correlative, but causative relationships between the immune system and psychopathology.

Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise may influence psychopathology, and this may occur via a bidirectional relationship.

Mental illness may prevent health-seeking behaviours such as failing to maintain a balanced diet, whilst adopting a ‘healthy’ diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish alongside nutritional supplementation correlates with a reduction in psychiatric symptoms in patients.

Obesity and the gut microbiome have proven to be further factors which play an important role in inflammatory signalling and the development of psychiatric symptoms.

In a related paper the authors focus on the role of exercise (another significant lifestyle factor) on mental health (Venkatesh et al. 2020).


Lifestyle modifications which target diet and nutrition may prove therapeutically beneficial for many patients, especially in treatment-resistant subgroups.

The current evidence base provides equivocal evidence, however future studies will prove significant, as this is a highly attractive therapeutic avenue, due to its cost efficacy, low side effect profile and preventative potential.

By promoting lifestyle changes and addressing the limitations and barriers to adoption, these therapies may prove revolutionary for mental health conditions.


Edirappuli, S.D., Venkatesh, A. & Zaman, R. (2020) The Effect of Nutrition on Mental Health: A Focus on Inflammatory Mechanisms. Psychiatria Danubina. 32(Suppl 1), pp.114-120.

Book: How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care

Book Title:

How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care.

Author(s): Richard P. Brown, Patricia L. Gerberg, and Phillip R. Muskin.

Year: 2012.

Edition: Reprint Edition.

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle.


Many physicians and therapists agree that herbs and mind-body practices enhance health, but many more are reluctant to integrate them into their clinical work because of a lack of training or, given how long it takes to master the use of hundreds of different herbs, a lack of time.

But the trend is clear: clients and consumers alike want control over their health care choices, making the time ripe for a practical resource that guides both the clinician and the consumer on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This book answers that call.

Three noted experts in integrative medicine, Drs. Brown, Gerbarg, and Muskin, demystify the complexities of alternative mental health care, giving readers a comprehensive yet accessible guidebook to the best treatment options out there.

From mood, memory, and anxiety disorders to ADD, sexual enhancement issues, psychotic disorders, and substance abuse, every chapter covers a major diagnostic category.

The authors then present a range of complementary and alternative treatments-including the use of herbs, nutrients, vitamins, nootropics, hormones, and mind-body practices that they have found to be beneficial for various conditions within each category.

For example, B complex vitamins and folate have been shown to help with depression; omega-3 fatty acids can offer relief for bipolar sufferers; coherent and resonant breathing techniques-used by Buddhist monks-induce healthy alpha rhythms in the brain to relieve anxiety; the elderly can boost their memory by taking the ancient medicinal herb Rhodiola rosea; and those with chronic fatigue syndrome can find comfort in acupuncture and yoga.

Focusing on evidence-based approaches, the research, the authors’ clinical experience, and the potential risks and benefits of each treatment are carefully examined.

Brown, Gerbarg, and Muskin have distilled an otherwise daunting field of treatment down to its basics: their overriding approach is to present the CAM methods that are most practical in a clinical setting, easy to administer, and low in side effects.

With helpful summary tables at the end of each chapter, clinical pearls, and case vignettes interspersed throughout, this is a must-have resource for all clinicians and consumers who want the best that alternative medicine has to offer.

Is Protein Intake Associated with Cognitive Functioning in Individuals with Psychiatric Disorders?

Research Paper Title

Protein intake is associated with cognitive functioning in individuals with psychiatric disorders.


Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are associated with reduced cognitive functioning which contributes to problems in day-to-day functioning and social outcomes.

A paucity of research exists relating dietary factors to cognitive functioning in serious mental illnesses, and results are inconsistent.

The study aims to describe the nutritional intake of persons with schizophrenia and those with a recent episode of acute mania and to determine relationships between the intake of protein and other nutrients on cognitive functioning in the psychiatric sample.


Persons with schizophrenia and those with acute mania were assessed using a 24-h dietary recall tool to determine their intakes of protein and other nutrients.

They were also assessed with a test battery measuring different domains of cognitive functioning. Results indicate that lower amounts of dietary protein intake were associated with reduced cognitive functioning independent of demographic and clinical factors.


The association was particularly evident in measures of immediate memory and language.

There were not associations between cognitive functioning and other nutritional variables, including total energy, gluten, casein, saturated fat, or sugar intakes.


The impact of dietary interventions, including protein intake, on improving cognitive functioning in individuals with psychiatric disorders warrants further investigation.


Dickerson, F., Gennusa, J.V. 3rd, Stallings, C., Origoni, A., Katsafanas, E., Sweeney, K., Campbell, W.W. & Yolken, R. (2019) Protein intake is associated with cognitive functioning in individuals with psychiatric disorders. Psychiatry Research. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112700. [Epub ahead of print].