The Food and Mood Handbook by Amanda Geary was one of my first introductions into the area of food and mood and in learning about exactly how much diet can impact on your mental health. As someone who used to suffer terribly with PMT, finding anything that might relieve my symptoms was an ongoing task for me – and I know diet has a huge effect on premenstrual problems, especially mine!
Geary’s book is an excellent manual in learning how to eat a nutritious diet that can help relieve mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and generalised mood swings. She herself had struggled for many years with severe depression and mental health problems, and after years of medication, it was only when her diet changed that her depression was finally dealt with. So Geary wrote this book, after training to become a nutritionist, in order to provide a guide on good mood foods.
There is a huge amount of explanation into how the brain works in conjunction with food – and what types of neurotransmitters are needed and produced when we eat certain types of food. The book also talks about foods which sustain blood sugar levels, and which can promote the production of ‘good mood’ chemicals in the brain.
Like Geary, I agree that a lot of mental health problems that exist could be relieved simply by changing diet – and if all else has failed, why not alter the diet in order to see if it can help? Even better, why not change the diet first, before resorting to medication? This is an excellent book – and worth reading even if good nutrition is simply your interest.
The Food and Mood Handbook (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd): Amanda Greary, 192 pages, paperback