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Understanding Nutrition, Depression, and Mental Illnesses

By: Camryn Murray and Annemarie Morrell, Winthrop University Nutrition Students

Nutrition and mental health go hand in hand. There are even specific foods that have been shown to improve mood. Some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication can increase appetite and cravings and sometimes you'll turn to foods that are more processed or have more sugar when you're feeling these varying emotions. Some people may lose appetite due to mental health issues and then some people might feel an increased appetite due to them, so there are different spectrums of how it can affect someone nutritionally. There are also several studies showing a link between certain diets and their impact on mental health. Depression is not just biochemically or emotionally affecting people, it can also cause different food patterns and that's where nutrition plays a role. If you're feeling depr