Schizophrenia can cause a wide variety of psychological symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. This condition can severely affect how an individual thinks, feels, and behaves in their daily life. What people choose to eat can either make these symptoms better or worse. Schizophrenia patients must avoid all foods that can aggravate their symptoms. Accordingly, here are some common foods to keep away from.
Studies have linked gluten with an increased risk of triggering schizophrenia episodes. So gluten-rich foods such as wheat, barley, and rye are among the top foods to avoid for people with schizophrenia. Those suffering from celiac disease must be extra careful as eating gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. Foods high in gluten can also aggravate other mental health problems like ADHD, anxiety, and depression. It’s best to replace gluten-rich grains with fermented grains.
Bread and Pasta
Simply eliminating direct sources of gluten may not help relieve the symptoms. People with schizophrenia must also keep in mind that foods such as bread and pasta are made of gluten-rich ingredients like wheat, so it’s best to avoid them. Research suggests that over 30% of people with the condition contain a high amount of antibodies that work against gluten. So, it’s best to replace all gluten-rich foods with healthy substitutes. People can easily find gluten-free food products in major supermarkets. These foods are often prepared with rice or potato flour. Make sure the label says “100% gluten-free” before buying. Similarly, when looking for pasta, skip the regular spaghetti, macaroni, shells, and spirals, and look for those made from rice, corn, or quinoa.
Such foods lack vital nutrients, which can lead to nervous system imbalance. People suffering from schizophrenia must avoid all processed foods like cereals, cheese, canned vegetables, savory snacks, cakes, biscuits, and meat products like bacon, sausage, ham, and salami. These foods are abundantly high in omega-6 fatty acids; one should lower this intake and increase the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids for better mental health. The goal must be to bring a balance between the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 in the body.
In some people, dairy products can cause inflammation in the body. Some studies suggest that milk, yogurt, and other dairy products can negatively affect people with schizophrenia. So, it’s best to discard them and see if there is any improvement. They are some of the main foods to avoid for schizophrenia.
Sugary Foods and Beverages
Multiple studies suggest that there is a connection between high levels of sugar intake and the risk of suffering from mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia. Carbonated drinks and fruit juices tend to be very high in sugar, so they are particularly harmful to people with schizophrenia. Even high-sugar foods such as cakes and breakfast cereals may have similar effects, so they must be avoided.