Plant-Based Diet for Schizophrenia Patients

Schizophrenia is a condition where it seems like one’s mind has lost touch with reality and is a chronic mental disorder that leads to an individual suffering from delusions and hallucinations. The condition tends to develop while patients are young, typically between the ages of 20 to 45.

Schizophrenia is a progressive disorder in which the person affected undergoes both mental and emotional changes over a period of time. Due to the effects of this condition, one slowly stops interacting with other people, tends to forget things, has concentration problems, and does not have control over themselves. The level of severity differs from person to person and there is no cure for this disease.

Some causes of this disease are believed to be genetics, stress, and trauma. Physiological therapies and medications help in relieving symptoms of schizophrenia. Eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to staying away from most diseases including this mental disorder. Certain foods for schizophrenia can be beneficial for its patients whereas others such as those rich in fats and foods containing gluten and lactose should be avoided as they can worsen symptoms. One of the most natural ways of treating schizophrenia is by including plant-based foods in one’s diet.

1. Omega-3 fatty acids
Fatty acids help in the overall development and functioning of the brain. Among all the foods good for individuals suffering from schizophrenia, including the ones rich in fatty acids such as fish oil, soybean, lettuce, strawberries, almonds and nuts in one’s diet will help in relieving the symptoms. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 has a therapeutic effect. Lack of omega-3 nutrients can increase the risk of the disorder.

2. Vitamin B
Vitamin B-rich foods are a must as they regulate the proper functioning of the nervous system and also helps in reducing symptoms caused by mental disorders. Foods containing vitamin B are more effective when implemented at an early stage of schizophrenia. Kidney beans, potato whole grains are some sources of vitamin B foods individuals suffering from schizophrenia.

3. Vitamin D
An adequate amount of vitamin D in the body helps in lowering the risk of developing the condition and in regulating brain activity. A great source of vitamin D is sunlight. Food items that are sources of the nutrient are mushrooms and yogurt.

4. Iron
Iron is an important nutrient that helps in the development and maintenance of brain function. Insufficient intake of iron can increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, hormonal imbalance, and mood irregularities. Foods for managing schizophrenia that are excellent sources of iron are cashews, lentils, and sunflower seeds.

5. Zinc
A cofactor in the optimal functioning of the brain, zinc deficiency can be associated with developing schizophrenia. Lack of zinc also affects the immune system and can cause infections or diarrhea. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, fruits, and vegetables are great sources of the nutrient.

6. Magnesium
The deficiency of magnesium affects neurotransmitter functions in the brain and is linked to psychotic behavior. Magnesium not only promotes mental health but also supports the immune system and helps in keeping the bones healthy. Consuming foods such as peanuts, cashews, brown rice and avocados help in reducing schizophrenia symptoms.