Schizophrenia is a progressive disorder characterized by a variety of symptoms, including hallucinations, difficulty concentrating, delusions, and behavioral changes. The condition can generally be stabilized with medications, along with a few lifestyle and dietary changes. Apart from consuming a well-balanced diet, it’s important to understand and avoid the foods that trigger the symptoms. Listed below are various foods to avoid for managing the symptoms of schizophrenia better:
- Carbonated drinks: These drinks are full of sugar, which can be particularly dangerous for people with schizophrenia. Studies have claimed that there is a strong link between high levels of sugar consumption and the risk of developing this condition or the worsening of its symptoms.
- Gluten: The long list of foods to avoid for managing schizophrenia also includes those that contain gluten. Schizophrenia patients have a higher number of antibodies that react to gluten, so a reduction in gluten consumption may also relieve the symptoms. So, it is advisable for patients to follow a gluten-free diet and switch to healthier options like rice, buckwheat, and millet.
- Milk and yogurt: Dairy products can leave a negative impact on those battling with schizophrenia. On the other hand, eliminating dairy can show positive results and may reduce symptoms like mental fogginess and trouble with concentration.
- Dried fruits: While fruits are beneficial foods for everyone, dried fruits are among the foods to avoid for schizophrenia patients. They have a higher concentration of sugar, which affects the activity of BDNF, a key hormone in the brain. This hormone maintains the health of the neurons present in the brain and also aids memory function. So, fresh fruits are a much better option than dried or any other processed forms.
- Alcohol and coffee: These drinks act as stimulants and increase irritability. In addition, anything that triggers certain emotions or creates a hormonal imbalance can be extremely dangerous for schizophrenia patients. To prevent this, it’s better to stay hydrated with water or herbal tea.
- Processed foods: When it comes to the trigger foods to avoid for managing schizophrenia, processed foods are high on the list. These have nutritional deficiencies and are high in trans-fats, which can affect the neurotransmitters. They may also increase the degeneration of the brain, so it’s better to replace them with healthier options like fruits and vegetables.
- Artificial sweetener: Although mentioned last here, artificial sweeteners are among the top on the list of the foods to avoid for managing the symptoms of schizophrenia. They can be as dangerous as refined sugar and have no nutritional value. Also, they promote an addictive habit, so it’s advisable to consume fresh fruits to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Schizophrenia is a progressive disease, but certain dietary and lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms. To prevent the condition from worsening, patients must understand which foods trigger their symptoms and avoid their consumption.