Influence of Nutrition on Mental Health: Scoping Review

Healthcare (Basel). 2023 Aug 1;11(15):2183. doi: 10.3390/healthcare11152183.


The aim of this article was to carry out a scoping review of existing research on the influence of food on mental health: (1) Background: nutrition, nutrient levels or an adequate body weight seem to influence the mental health status of individuals. The consumption of psychotropic drugs also seems to contribute to overweight; (2) Methods: fifteen previous research articles were used in the review, which were read in their entirety, following PRISMA methodology and using SPIDER and GRADE tools; (3) Results: there is a relationship between diet and mental health status. Low levels of magnesium, together with high levels of calcium, provoke anxious states, and supplementation with Melissa Officinalis attenuates them. Healthy nutritional habits generally reduce depressive symptoms; while vitamin D supplementation improves mental health status; (4) Conclusion: in general, healthy and appropriate nutrition, such as the Mediterranean diet, improves mental health status. Levels of magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B6 also seem to have an influence. As limitations of the present review, "food" was considered any form of nutrient administered as an independent variable, and it may include linguistic and publication bias.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; feeding; mental health; nutrition; psychopathology.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.