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The role of Medication and Psychotherapy in managing Mood Disorders such as Bipolar Disorder and Depression is well known. Awareness of how Nutrition can help in recovery and in managing these chronic mental health conditions is scant. Mrs Shilpa Mittal of ShilpsNutrilife conducted an Online Session for our peer support community on this topic.
We are sharing her presentation used for this interactive and hugely educative session.
This presentation reaffirms the importance of a holistic approach to healing.
Nutrition For Mood Disorders by Nutritionist Mrs. Shilpa Mittal
Mrs . Shilpa Mittal
M.Sc Food science and Nutrition
Healthy eating won’t get rid of your bad
mood but will help you respond well to
different mood disorders.
Bipolar depressive episode
Unusually low energy
Decreased activity levels
Feelings of hopelessness and despair
Loss of enjoyment in activities
Sleeping too little or too much
Feeling worried or empty
Eating too little or too much
Trouble concentrating or remembering
Unusually high energy
Increased activity levels
Feeling wired or jumpy
Feelings of agitation or irritability
Feelings of overconfidence
Talking unusually quickly
Engaging in risky behavior, such as
taking sexual or financial risks you
Prolonged MOOD DISTRUBANCE can disrupt the
digestive system, irritating the large intestine and
causing DIARRHOEA, CONSTIPATION,
CRAMPING, AND BLOATING.
In the long run could result in PEPTIC ULCERS,
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME and
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE.
the body’s fight or
flight response that
eating on hold (Shut
down of Appetite)
If stress persist for
longer: Cortisol is
released from the
motivation to eat.
Increased intake of
fats and sugar.
High Cortisol in
combination with high
insulin as a result of
abdominal fat and
Following a diet enables you to:
maintain a healthy weight
take control of your mood swings.
Knowing the foods that you should and
shouldn’t eat can be a first step to reducing
the effects of bipolar disorder on your
quality of life.
The imbalanced brain chemicals that cause bipolar
disorder may also cause you to crave “hyper-palatable”
foods, which are sugary, salty, fatty and generally
What’s worse is that the medications for this condition
may also cause weight gain.
Nuts such as walnut, almonds, pistachios should be
included as they contain good quality (n6 and n3) fat and
also minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese,
selenium, zinc and also B vitamins.
Oysters and shell fish are good sources of Zinc and copper.
For n3 fatty acids one can consume flaxseeds (1tsp/day) if
vegetarian and if you eat fish then 3 servings (1 serving=
100 g of fish) of fatty fish a week is recommended
Healthy bacteria that reside within us help
control state of our emotional health
Include foods containing live bacteria.
Idli, Dosa, Dhokla
Salt is very necessary to regulate the levels of
bipolar medication in your bloodstream
If you have bipolar disorder, don’t let your salt
intake get too low, and definitely don’t cut out salt
Avoid Junk Food and Quick Fix Meals
Cut down on Caffeine: Caffeine is found in
coffee, tea, cola beverages, chocolates
and some medications. Instead of coffee
you could have herbal tea or infused water
Drink water often: water can curb the urge
for coffee and stress related eating
Eat regularly during the day: three
main meals and two to three
snacks/fillers in between (Include 3 to
4 food groups in each meal) helps
Don’t skip meals likewise don’t
overeat, can reduce metabolism.
Do some physical activity
Avoid late night snackingSHILPSNUTRILIFE
A good breakfast is a must should
consist of milk + cereals + fruits
i.e. 3 food group at least.
Increase the fibre content of your
diet: choose more whole grains,
vegetables, fruits and legumes, as it
The foods have been found benefit:
• Green Tea
• Pro-biotic Yogurt (improve mood)
• Flax Seed
• Flax Oil
• Spinach (fresh; not canned or frozen). use it in salads instead
of lettuce, it gives a major energy boost.
• Bananas (increases serotonin)
• Chocolate – Dark, (increases serotonin) 70% or more Coco
• Nuts (in particular, Almonds and Walnuts)
Make eating an art
Know your eating habits
Depression is not an excuse to binge
Eat sensibly, don’t starve
to lose weight.
Rhythm is king!
Fresh vegetables with a savory