Living with Schizophrenia: What Diet You Should Follow to Ease Symptoms
Schizophrenia is a serious, chronic psychological disorder that impacts the person’s ability to think, sense, and act adversely. This often affects the quality of life of schizophrenia patients. Hallucinations, extremely disordered thinking and conduct, delusions, and cognitive deficits are some of the common schizophrenia symptoms. Although schizophrenia’s causes are not known, a combination of genetics, altered brain chemistry and structure, and environmental factors are believed to play a role. There prevail various types of schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenia, simple schizophrenia, hebephrenic, catatonic, residual, and undifferentiated schizophrenia are some of the types of schizophrenia. This serious brain and behaviour debilitating disorder has no cure and over 20 million people globally are battling the condition. However, schizophrenia treatments involving a combination of medication, psychotherapy, diet, and special care services can help the affected individuals lead life positively. Every year, World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is observed on the 24th of May to spread awareness about this psychological condition and boost the morale of the millions of affected individuals. This year, World Schizophrenia Awareness Day will be observed on 24th May 2023. The theme of this global health awareness day this year is “Celebrating the Power of Community Kindness.” It emphasizes raising awareness about this serious condition and motivates people to support needy schizophrenia sufferers.
Researchers are also working on the potential link between schizophrenia symptoms and food. Although foods can’t replace the other proven treatments for this psychological disorder, a healthy diet can be a great addition to the treatment to improve the relief of schizophrenia sufferers. Anti-inflammatory foods may help alleviate schizophrenia symptoms in some affected individuals. Schizophrenia sufferers may follow unhealthy diets that may put them at a high risk of health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. So, you might be wondering which foods schizophrenia patients should eat and which foods they should avoid, aren’t you? Discover all that a healthy schizophrenia diet plan should comprise below.
11 Best Foods to Include in Schizophrenia Diet Plan:
Here’s a list of healthy foods to include in the diet plan of schizophrenia sufferers.
Schizophrenia patients should receive adequate fibre from their diet. So, add fruits to the schizophrenia diet plan. Fibre helps reduce bad cholesterol and promotes smooth digestion. Apples, avocadoes, raspberries, and pears, among others, are some nutritious sources of fibre to opt for. A diet rich in fibre helps reduce the risk of health issues that are commonly associated with schizophrenia, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The intake of berries helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Although berries taste sweet, they are low in sugar and calories. Even though schizophrenia cured by diet might be challenging, eating berries, such as blueberries, can lower chemical damage in the brain as they contain anthocyanins. The high antioxidants and fibre content in berries help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Loaded with fibre and essential vitamins and low in calories and fats, vegetables are healthy foods for schizophrenia patients. Also, eating fresh vegetables, such as eggplants, carrots, and okra, helps keep your cholesterol in check. Potassium in kidney beans, sweet potatoes, and lima beans helps keep your blood glucose levels in check.
Broccoli is rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, such as zinc, potassium, and folate. Also, broccoli is a great food source of sulforaphane, which is a natural substance beneficial for schizophrenia patients. Sulforaphane content in broccoli may help manage schizophrenia symptoms. So, include fresh broccoli in your schizophrenia diet plan.
The intake of omega-3 fatty acids helps prevent and soothe schizophrenia symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. So, enrich your schizophrenia diet with fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as they are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. If you are a vegetarian, you can have chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and kidney beans in your diet.
Chicken and Marinara Sauce:
If you are a non-vegetarian, you can include chicken recipes in your diet when batting schizophrenia. Chicken contains niacin which helps ease the symptoms of schizophrenia and slow the advancement of the psychological disorder. Also, you can consume marinara sauce, which is prepared using tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs which makes it a great source of niacin to fight schizophrenia.
Folate is effective in soothing schizophrenia symptoms. Spinach is an easily available rich source of folate. So, incorporate spinach into your schizophrenia diet plan. You can also add asparagus, black-eyed peas, and other food sources of folate to your diet.
Deficiency of zinc is believed to share a link with schizophrenia. So, when battling this serious mental disorder, enrich your schizophrenia diet with zinc food sources, such as oysters, lobsters, and crabs. Consulting certified nutritionists can also help you have fortified cereals containing zinc or zinc supplements to beat the psychological condition.
Research reveals a link between the deficiency of vitamin B12 and psychosis, which comprises a group of psychological disorders and schizophrenia being one of them. Boosting your intake of vitamin B12 can help ease schizophrenia symptoms. You may go for clams. You can also find it in trout, liver, and some bread. Seeking the guidance of certified dieticians can also help you have vitamin B12 supplements in the right doses.
Some research believes that bad gut bacteria have a link with schizophrenia. Having more prebiotics in your diet can help improve gut health with good bacteria. So, include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Probiotics in yoghurt may also help but avoid dairy products that contain casein antibodies. So, prefer to have non-dairy yoghurt.
Cod Liver Oil:
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving brain health. It has an active role in neuroplasticity, neurotransmission, neurotransmitter biosynthesis, and neuroprotection. Schizophrenia sufferers are found to have low levels of Vitamin D. So when battling this chronic psychological condition, you can receive vitamin D with adequate exposure to the morning sunlight. You may also have this crucial vitamin by adding cod liver oil, salmon, and other vitamin D-rich foods to your schizophrenia diet.
Ensure your body is well-hydrated. Drink a sufficient quantity of water daily. In the hot weather, drink more water. Fruit juices, water, and milk are some healthy fluids. Energy drinks, coffee, and tea should be consumed in moderation by schizophrenia sufferers. Avoid alcohol.
Be Sure You Eat Three Regular Meals Daily:
Never skip breakfast. You need to eat a nutritious breakfast high in fibre. This will help you feel full till lunchtime. Also, eat nutritious meals timely and daily.
4 Schizophrenia Foods to Avoid:
While you should eat the above healthy foods, you should avoid eating certain foods that may worsen the symptoms. Here is a quick rundown of foods to avoid when managing schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia patients may make unhealthy food choices and be more prone to develop diabetes. So, they should choose nutritious low-GI (low-glycaemic) foods to ease their schizophrenia symptoms and avoid elevation in their blood sugar levels. So, sugary foods are on the list of schizophrenia foods to avoid. Avoid having refined sugars in your diet. For this, stay away from candies, sweetened beverages, sugar-laden foods, and cakes.
Avoid Gluten if necessary:
Some health experts hold the opinion that sensitivity to wheat can contribute to psychological health issues, such as schizophrenia. Switching to a gluten-free diet can help improve the relief of schizophrenia patients. Gluten occurs in wheat, barley, and some more grains. Have a word with your doctor about going gluten-free.
Minimize Intake of Saturated Fats, Salt, and Sugar:
Prefer to eat homemade food. This will help cut down the intake of unhealthy saturated fats, excessive salt, and excess sugar. Avoid ready-made meals and processed cakes from shops.
Foods with Additives:
Consuming food additives may cause behavioral issues, particularly, hyperactivity, in schizophrenia sufferers. Some additives trigger the release of histamine in the blood which impacts brain functioning. So, when dealing with this psychological disorder, avoid eating foods containing additives.
Now that you know which foods to eat and which are schizophrenia foods to avoid when living with this serious psychological disorder, let’s spread the word about it this World Schizophrenia Day so that the maximum number of people battling the condition can benefit from them. The guidance of certified dieticians, such as nutritionists and health experts at Health Total, can help you have a personalized schizophrenia diet. Our diet plan not only helps improve your relief but also manages your weight, meets your nutritional needs, boosts your immunity, and lowers or prevents potential health risks. So, think no further, reach out to us at Health Total and improve your relief with our customized.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips for managing schizophrenia symptoms with diet or managing any other health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-833-171709 and Book Free Consultation !