According to Uma Naidoo, nutrition and vitamins can change your life. Naidoo is a Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist. I would never have bought her book if I hadn’t first witnessed the power of vitamin supplements in my life with schizoaffective disorder:
Several months ago I started a health shake, and it was helpful. However, when I ran out of the shake I bought the main vitamin it contains, B12, and did even better than I had originally on just the shake. I just published a post on my personal blog about how it helped my negative symptoms of psychosis (here), and another one on how I’m committed to staying on my medicine even though I’m symptom-free (here).
Apparently, B12, B9, and B6 are essential for schizophrenia. Particularly B12. I also take B3, fish oil (omega 3), and vitamin E. Those vitamins supposedly help with medication side effects. Taking B3 needs care because too much can prove toxic.
Naidoo’s book contains more than just information on B12 and schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. The book is not just about serious mental illnesses. As its full title suggests–This is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More–the book covers a tons of diagnoses and ailments.
A Holistic Approach
I can’t recommend this book highly enough, and for all mental health conditions. Again, it is not just about schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
I also like that Naidoo takes a stand against red meat, though the book’s “most helpful” review on Amazon is negative, written by a pro-red-meat reviewer. It takes courage to write against the red meat industry nowadays. Oprah was sued decades ago for saying she wouldn’t eat burgers anymore. It seems like the harassment will never end.
Naidoo is a psychiatrist whose work I hope will inspire other psychiatrists to be attentive to the fact that food is medicine, and that sometimes we eat our way into our mental health problems. And that, perhaps, we can eat and supplement our way out of them–with professional supervision. She encourages medicine, as well. She is integrative.
I continue to faithfully take my antipsychotic, mood stabilizer, and anti-depressant. But when paired with the supplements, I feel like I don’t even have a mental illness. Naidoo is careful to state that medical science and traditional psychiatry still have their place. But again, argues that nutrition and vitamins can change your life.