Schizophrenia is a mental health condition, and people diagnosed with this are often found to indulge in faulty eating habits. Poor diets can cause other health issues for people with schizophrenia. They may develop diabetes and cardiovascular problems. So, if you know the foods to eat and foods to avoid for schizophrenia, you can help patients stay healthy and keep their symptoms in check.
1. Refined sugar
You need to stay far away from refined carbohydrates. These will spike your blood glucose levels, which are in any case already disrupted for schizophrenia patients who must take antipsychotic medications. Instead, you need to include complex carbs like brown rice, muesli, or potatoes with skin that will be fiber-rich. It is recommended that patients consume at least 30 grams of fiber every day. This ensures that you stay fuller for longer hours and do not gain unwanted pounds.
Caffeine, energy drinks, and stimulant drugs should be avoided when diagnosed with schizophrenia since these are related to blood sugar spikes. Instead, you must stick to a diet that includes foods having a low GI or glycemic index. Such a diet will keep your blood glucose levels stable.
3. Trans fats
You need to avoid trans fats found in processed meats and red meat, and instead, you should choose to make meals at home. Indulging in pastries from the neighborhood confectioner or ready-made meals from the local grocery should only be an occasional treat.
4. Energy drinks
These will spike your blood glucose levels unnecessarily; so, it is best to drink water to make sure you stay hydrated. The best hydrating options are milk, fruit juices, and water, of course. Energy drinks, like Red Bull, have caffeine that works as a stimulant and need to be had in moderation. Even alcohol should be avoided as far as possible.
5. Gluten foods
Celiac disease refers to a chronic condition wherein the intestine turns sensitive to gluten, a protein present in wheat products. When gluten is not digested properly in the stomach, chemicals or gluteomorphins are released that enter your blood and move to the brain, affecting your moods, behavior, and thinking. So, patients diagnosed with schizophrenia should try to avoid gluten foods.
Schizophrenia patients should not eliminate carbs from their diet, but they should cut down on sugar-rich foods like desserts. Sugar tends to exacerbate mood swings and impairs memory. So, it is likely to make schizophrenia symptoms worse.
7. Artificial sweeteners
All foods that contain artificial sweeteners should be avoided if you have schizophrenia as these have limited nutritional value and can be addictive. Instead, you can satisfy your sweet cravings by eating whole fruits.
Dairy foods can cause inflammation, and these tend to have pervasive effects on the body, especially if the person is lactose-intolerant. So, if you are suffering from any mental health issue, it is advisable to eliminate dairy foods for a while.
9. Processed foods
Anything that is processed will have added salt or sugar, and that never does the body any good. So, people diagnosed with mental health problems should try to stay away from such foods.