Bipolar disorder is typically treated with medication and psychotherapy. But nutrition and a healthy diet are just as important. Treatment for bipolar disorder typically involves medication, psychotherapy, and a number of alternative therapies, such as: yoga, mindful meditation and Tai Chi that help manage the illness, often without adverse side effects. But nutritional options exist as well. Certain supplements are believed to benefit brain function while easing depression symptoms. Research shows that Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, walnuts, soybeans and dark green leafy vegetables, assist healthy mental functioning. St. John's wort and SAM-e also help combat depression. However, use caution and always check with your doctor, as both of these supplements may produce adverse interactions with some bipolar medications, even triggering mania in some patients. Research suggests B-complex vitamins may potentially benefit people with bipolar disorder. It's believed that low levels of vitamin B12 may be partly responsible for triggering manic states. B12 may also play a role in regulating mood-related brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine. Balancing blood glucose is another way to manage mood, so pay attention to what's on your plate. Some foods cause blood sugar to spike, while others can keep it, and you, calm and steady. Limit simple-carbohydrates, like white bread, candy, and cornflakes, in favor of whole grains, which have a more moderate glycemic rank. Nutrition options may complement and enhance conventional treatment plans. But before trying any alternative therapy or diet program, talk with your doctor. To learn more, watch the complete bipolar disorder video series on this site.
Low B12 May Lead to Brain Shrinkage
Whole Foods and ADHD
A Shot for Sadness, Sluggishness, and Stroke
Vitamin B May Not Be a Brain Booster
Food For (Happy) Thought
Do Alternative Autism Therapies Work?
Don’t Give Up on Dementia
Bipolar... and Pregnant
Last Updated:December 20, 2012