The link between

diet and mental health


Improving the quality of our diets can benefit not only our physical health but also play a role in improving and maintaining our mental health.

Diets comprising of fresh, nutrient dense foods have been associated with reduced risk of depression and anxiety, while diets comprising of highly processed and refined foods have been associated with increased prevalence of depression and anxiety. Diet can also impact stress management, emotional regulation, sleep quality, memory and concentration.

So which diet is best for optimal mental health? Researchers recommend following a healthy diet comprising of a diverse range of wholefoods, plant foods (wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and legumes) and healthy fats (from fish, nuts, seeds and olives), rather than focusing on individual foods/nutrients in isolation. Try to minimise consumption of highly processed and refined foods, and those which contain high amounts of added sugar, salt, or animal and trans fats.

Want to learn more?

The Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University is a team of researchers from various backgrounds studying the food-mood relationship.

The Solicitor Outreach Service – Help when you need it

The Solicitor Outreach Service (SOS) is an independent and confidential psychology counselling service for NSW solicitors.

NSW solicitors can call SOS on 1800 592 296 for access to:

  • Up to three counselling sessions with an SOS psychologist per financial year, paid for by the Law Society of NSW
  • 24/7 telephone crisis counselling with a psychologist.

The SOS psychologists are trained in the use of evidenced-based strategies to treat common mental health concerns and are also familiar with the challenges commonly faced by NSW solicitors.

If your or someone else’s life is in danger, phone 000 immediately.

Miriam Wyzenbeek is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and the Law Society of NSW’s Wellbeing Manager.

First published Thursday 14 October 2021