Bipolar and Mental Illnesses are written about here. Written by a bipolar person themselves.

  
Bipolar Disorder – Foods To Avoid“There is no specific bipolar diet. Nevertheless, it is important to make wise dietary choices that will help you maintain a healthy weight and stay well. These choices include:”

“Avoiding the “Western” style diet that’s rich in red meats, saturated fats and trans fats, and simple carbohydrates. This eating style is linked to a higher risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Eating less saturated fats and simple carbohydrates can help overall health but does not directly affect the symptoms of bipolar disorder.”

  
“Eating a balance of protective, nutrient-dense foods. These foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, cold-water fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, soy products, and nuts and seeds. These foods provide the levels of nutrients necessary to maintain good health and prevent disease.”

  
  
“Watching caloric intake and exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Some findings show that those with bipolar disorder may have a greater risk for being overweight or obese. Talk to your doctor about ways to avoid weight gain when taking bipolar medications.”

  
Does Fish Oil Improve Mood With Bipolar Disorder?

“The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fatty fish at least two times a week. Good choices include:”

  • Albacore tuna
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Trout

“If you do not like fish, the AHA recommends taking 0.5 to 1.8 grams of fish oil per day as supplements. That way you will get enough dietary omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).”

  
“Fish oil can help keep your heart healthy. But some experts also believe that fish oil is an important bipolar supplement and that it may play a role in brain function and behavior. These experts report that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful for those with bipolar disorder, particularly if they have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or high triglycerides.”

  
“Some research suggests that getting more omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil is linked to greater volume in areas of the brain. In particular, these areas are related to mood and behavior. In one study of 75 patients, one of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids was decreasing depression in bipolar disorder.”

  
“Still, the overall evidence for benefit of fish oil in bipolar disorder is inconsistent. More studies are needed before fish oil can be recommended as a proven treatment for bipolar disorder.”

  
“If you’re a vegetarian or vegan looking for possible benefits of fish oil, go with nuts. Walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is converted to omega-3 fatty acid in the body.”

  
Which Foods Should I Avoid if I Have Bipolar Disorder?

Some general dietary recommendations for treating bipolar disorder include:

  • Getting only moderate amounts of caffeine and not stopping caffeine use abruptly
  • Avoiding high-fat meals to lower the risk for obesity

   
 

“Watching your salt if you have high blood pressure but not skimping on salt if you are being prescribed lithium since low salt intake can cause higher levels of lithium in the blood.”

  
“Following your doctor’s instructions to stay away from foods that may affect your specific bipolar medication, if any.”

“Avoiding too much caffeine may be helpful for getting good sleep, which is especially important for people with bipolar disorder. When someone with bipolar disorder is feeling depressed, extra caffeine can help that person boost the low mood. The problem is caffeine can disrupt sleep. Caffeine can also lower the sedative effects of medications, such as benzodiazepines, that are used to treat anxiety and mania associated with bipolar disorder.”

  
“In addition to lowering caffeine, it’s important to avoid high-fat meals with some bipolar medications. High-fat meals may delay the time it takes for some bipolar medications to be absorbed into your system. Talk to your doctor about your medications and necessary dietary changes.”

  
“If you take MAO inhibitors (a certain class of antidepressant that includes Emsam, Nardil, and Parnate), it’s important to avoid tyramine-containing foods. These foods can cause severe hypertension in people taking MAO inhibitors. Some foods high in tyramine are:”

  • Overly ripe bananas and banana peels
  • Tap beer
  • Fermented cheese
  • Aged meats
  • Some wines, such as Chianti
  • Soy sauce in high quantities

   
 

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