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Schizophrenia: How Your Diet Plays a Role

Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010 04:09 PM


Schizophrenia, a mental illness, is characterized by a withdrawal from reality, delusions, hallucinations, and emotional disturbances. It is a difficult disease to diagnose and treat. While approaches to the treatment of schizophrenia have varied widely, a proper diet plan could lessen the symptoms and problems of this disorder.
 
Recent research and publications say a healthy diet for schizophrenics should include more essential fatty acids, whole-grain carbohydrates, antioxidants, and niacin. Chicken, peanuts, salmon, and turkey are rich sources of niacin, which helps convert food into energy, helping essential fatty-acid-metabolism in the brain. Foods rich in essential fatty acids like walnuts, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and fish are also recommended.
 
It is important that a schizophrenic’s blood sugar level stays balanced. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates cause spikes in blood sugar levels. A healthy diet plan to help manage schizophrenia would avoid all foods with hidden sugars, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, and junk food.
 
With an increase in the essential fatty acids, it is wise to minimize oxidants from burnt or fried food, and to maximize the intake of antioxidants like vitamins E and C.

Smoking damages vitamin C, and acts as a source of oxidants. For this reason, individuals with schizophrenia should quit smoking. In addition, bouts of hypoglycemia have been observed in schizophrenic patients. To prevent this, the diet should include whole grains because they help maintain a steady blood glucose level.
  
A healthy diet plan, coupled with good psychological support and a friendly home environment, makes a significant, positive impact on a schizophrenic patient.
 


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