Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects thoughts, emotions, and behaviors leading to decreased functionality and withdrawal from reality. People affected by schizophrenia usually experience symptoms between ages 16 and 30. People with schizophrenia have symptoms that are very disabling. Symptoms of schizophrenia are known as positive symptoms and negative symptoms.
Positive symptoms are characterized by hallucinations, delusions and thought disorders. Negative symptoms are characterized by apathy, absence of feelings, lack of motivation, poor executive functioning, reduced working memory and difficulty starting and ending activities.
Research shows that genetic and environmental factors may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Environmental factors like viruses, food allergies, toxins as well as genetic susceptibilities may lead to a diagnosis of schizophrenia because they can damage the DNA repair system in the cells and damage the gut.
When the DNA repair system is damaged, free radicals accumulate. Free radicals are produced during normal cellular metabolism but when they accumulate in the cells due to DNA damage, they can lead to disease development.
Environmental factors implicated in the development of schizophrenia impair neurotransmitter production and this is a major factor in schizophrenia development.
Conventional treatment involves using antipsychotic medication and cognitive therapy.
Currently, there is no cure for schizophrenia using those treatment methods but if they are combined with natural treatments, symptoms can be reduced significantly.
It is very important to check with your primary care doctor, psychiatrist and nutritionist before embarking on any diet to treat schizophrenia symptoms.
Eating a diet that consists of fresh leafy greens, vegetables, probiotic food, omega-3 fatty acids and organic animal protein can go a long way in providing the body great nutrition necessary for great health.
Raw food contains antioxidants that get rid of free radicals and help to repair the cells in the body. Antioxidants are also very important in treating schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the body. It’s made up of amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid but cysteine is not made in the body. That means that glutathione cannot be formed without cysteine. The enzyme involved in the conversion of the above three amino acids into cysteine has been found to be deficient in some individuals with schizophrenia. You can get cysteine from your diet and its commonly found in garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red peppers and eggs. It is best to cook animal products but egg yolks can be eaten raw. Try to buy organic produce as much as possible.
Multiple research studies have shown that there is a definite gut brain connection and that probiotics can improve mental health by healing the gut.
Food sensitivities and food allergies combined with genetic susceptibilities have also been implicated in schizophrenia. Removing the offending foods through an elimination diet can be very beneficial.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for brain function and they are recommended for treating all mental disorders. They exist in three forms: alpha;-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA and DHA can be obtained from algae and fish.
Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise can improve mental and emotional disorders including anxiety, depression etc. It also helps to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes mellitus and heart disease.
Diet, supplements, exercise and other lifestyle changes can be very beneficial for individuals with schizophrenia. Healing the gut and eating a well balanced nutrient-rich diet can go a long way in improving mental health disorders like schizophrenia to the point where symptoms are greatly reduced or even non-existent.