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Schizophrenia: How Your Diet Plays a Role

Tuesday, 15 Mar 2011 04:42 PM

Schizophrenia is a mental illness. It is characterized by 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, it has been reported that a proper diet plan for schizophrenia could lessen the symptoms and problems of the 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 of the brain. Since the body cannot produce essential fatty acids, foods rich in these — like walnuts, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and fish – are recommended in a healthy diet for schizophrenia.
It is important that a schizophrenic’s blood sugar level be balanced. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Hence, a healthy diet plan for Schizophrenia avoids all food with hidden sugar, and excludes nicotine, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, stimulant drugs, and junk food.
With an increase in the essential fatty acids in the schizophrenic diet, it is wise to minimize oxidants from burnt or fried food, and to maximize the intake of antioxidants like vitamins E and C in the diet.

Whole-grain carbohydrates such as those from whole-grain breads are important in the schizophrenia diet to help maintain a steady blood glucose level.
A diet plan for schizophrenia should exclude foods that a patient could be allergic to. It is important to identify any change in mood or behavior, especially after eating anything, as this could result from a food component.

Certain people with mental illness are allergic to wheat gluten. Gluten is known to be neurotoxic in some people. Check for delayed food allergies and remove reactive foods from diet plans for schizophrenia.
A diet with adequate proportions of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins is considered helpful in schizophrenia. A healthy diet plan for schizophrenia, helped by good psychological support and a friendly home environment, makes a significant impact on a schizophrenic patient.

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