Schizophrenia and Nutrition
Our diet plays an important role in our lives. Not only is it a means of survival, but it can also provide us with much pleasure. It is now widely recognized that controlling what we eat is an important factor in staying healthy for everyone. However, for people with schizophrenia, this is of even greater importance because they tend to suffer from more physical health conditions than other populations. According to a growing body of research, the benefits of eating healthily can be seen not only in terms of improving our physical health but also in improving our mental well-being, according to a growing body of research.
Below we’ll go over some of the elements of a healthy diet and lifestyle, as well as some of the theories associated with diet and schizophrenia.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
It was once thought that schizophrenia was just a psychiatric issue, but now it has become clear that people with schizophrenia also experience a variety of physical health issues in many cases, and we must consider both aspects when treating the condition.
It is a widely known fact that people living with schizophrenia are more likely to die younger than those without schizophrenia. In fact, schizophrenia-related mortality rates are 2-3 times higher than average. According to current statistics, schizophrenia sufferers die about ten years earlier than the general population. It is undoubtedly true that accidents and suicide are part of this tragedy, but physical health must also be taken into the picture.
According to research, people with schizophrenia tend to eat a less healthy diet, with more fat and less fiber. In addition, they tend to exercise less on average and are less likely to visit the doctor when they suspect they are ill. As a result, they are more likely to suffer from diseases like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and heart problems. In fact, people with serious mental health conditions are five times more likely to have diabetes and twice as likely to have heart disease or respiratory disease. There are a number of reasons why people with schizophrenia are more likely to develop diabetes, including poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking.
It is important to think about your diet if your recovery is to be completely successful, so try incorporating some of the following steps if possible:
Ensure your diet is packed with fruit and vegetables.
Generally, nutritionists recommend 3 portions a day, but some sources suggest more. A glass of fruit juice counts towards this requirement, as does dried fruit.
Increase your fiber intake.
According to most sources, you should consume 18-30 grams of fiber per day. Adding fiber to your diet will give you a feeling of fullness for longer, which in turn can help you lose weight. Among the foods with the most fiber are brown bread, brown rice, pasta, and some cereals.
Reduce your consumption of saturated fats, sugars, and salt.
Cook more at home, and eat less ready meals and shop-bought cakes, which should only be used occasionally as treats.
Make sure you drink enough water to keep your body hydrated.
The recommended amount of water per day is 1.2 liters, but you will need more in hot weather or while exercising. In general, the healthiest drinks to consume are water, milk, and fruit juices. Several beverages, such as tea, coffee, and energy drinks, contain caffeine, which is a stimulant and must be consumed in moderation. Drinking alcohol is generally not recommended but should be used in moderation if consumed.
Eat three meals a day if you can.
In the morning, eating high-fiber cereals, oatmeal, fruits, and nuts with granola can help you stay full until lunchtime, preventing you from snacking during the day.
The link between diet and schizophrenia has been argued many times over the years. Considering the fact that some of these theories have been proved either inconclusively or inconsistently, it’s hard to say definitively how much control diet can have over schizophrenia symptoms.
Still, because there is enough evidence to strongly suggest that diet plays a role in psychosis, many people feel that even though we may not have a complete understanding of how the brain functions in this condition, we should not rule out modifying a diet so that some sufferers can find some relief. However, while a dietary approach to treating schizophrenia won’t make things worse, it shouldn’t be considered a substitute for the antipsychotic medication and talking therapies, which combined are the most effective.
Life Adjustment Team is here to help you become the best version of yourself. If you are struggling with a mental health disorder, contact Life Adjustment Team today.