The surprisingly dramatic role of nutrition in mental health | Julia Rucklidge | TEDxChristchurch

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NOTE FROM TED: Please consult with a mental health professional and do not look to this talk for medical advice as the intersection of mental health and nutrition is still an emerging field of study. We’ve flagged this talk for falling outside TEDx’s curatorial guidelines because it oversimplifies interpretations of legitimate studies. TEDx events are independently organized by volunteers. The guidelines we give TEDx organizers are described in more detail here:

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In this critically important talk, clinical psychologist Julia Rucklidge explores a range of scientific research, including her own, showing the significant role played by nutrition in mental health or illness.

Julia J Rucklidge, PhD is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Originally from Toronto, she did her training in neurobiology (McGill) and Clinical Psychology (University of Calgary). Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions. For the last 6 years, she has been investigating the role of micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety and more recently, stress and PTSD associated with the Canterbury earthquakes.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Constant exposure to our environment, the things we eat, and stresses from both inside and outside our bodies all cause us to age over time. This film explores those biological processes of aging, how we can maintain health throughout our lives with healthy lifestyles, and how scientists are learning more about the specific nutrients that can positively impact health.

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  1. C

    I recently went off my antidepressants and started a whole food diet of veggies, fruit, chicken, tofu, and fish, and am amazed at how I feel. My partner doesn't recognize me… in a GOOD way. My energy has tripled, my sleep is the best it's ever been, I'm crushing workouts, and I haven't had a panic attack or depressive episode since the diet began. This TED Talk is the real deal. I wish more people knew.

  2. Mabel Wealthy

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  3. Nieve Rainmaker

    Olive oil, nettles, fish, verbena, micro

  4. Crystal Williams

    I intuitively knew this. Thankyou for sharing the research that backs it up

  5. Lucia Joyce

    Amazing talk. Still so relevant

  6. J C

    More info on the micro neautriants would of been good

  7. SeekingHisKingdom1st

    This is such vital research! Reminds me of the old saying, "you are what you eat!"

  8. Winifred Herman

    My extremely healthy, long lived grandparents did not eat fish and rarely had nuts. Same with most of our family. One size doesn’t fit all.

  9. Libby Parker

    Yes! Links to the research articles?

  10. LeeAnn Breitbach

    Excellent talk!!! Thank you!

  11. Valeriy Lipikhin

    What is really depressive is a woman dressed like you!

    Other thing is the rising speed and pressure of the "progress". Technologies don't indeed do people lives better!

  12. Mayra crean crean

    Each of us can become a advocates and transform health, not only tour health but the health of ours loves ones. Big pharma, corrupt politicians and policy makers are killing millions of people

  13. Krissy Nikolova

    I'm glad that 5 years after this was aired, more and more people and getting into a healthier lifestyle (mainly because it's a "trend" but nonetheless). It's crazy to me how my mental state diminishes after just a day of eating primarily a processed and nutrient-deficient diet. About a year ago, I began slowly incorporating more and different whole foods into my diet until they became my main source of energy. I still eat processed foods but it is mostly in social situations or whenever I get a random craving for, say, donuts. In general though, my cravings for "junk" food have gone from daily to pretty much once a month, because my body is physically satisfied with the abundant diet. My mental health (diagnosed with a few different conditions) has improved DRAMATICALLY (without any medications) and I have so much more motivation and energy. I also no longer lean towards self-sabotage, which is a major issue for a large portion of the population these days. It's as simple as feeding your brain what it needs, so that it can allow to think and act more rationally. I remember the stigma around healthy food a few years back, so I have major respect for this woman for doing this.

  14. Kate Winchester

    Love this – so many of us find this challenging simply because it may mean making personal changes… as a behaviour analyst in NZ- this is great to see this coming out of NZ – still waiting to see change….
    I'm sure currently this will be hidden away…

  15. Bernard Whittaker

    It’s very confusing, I have read studies in the past when I was taking fish oil, that fish oil made no difference to mood or intelligence and to be honest I didn’t feel any different while taking the high strength fish oil, even though I had been taking it for a number of years. I also didn’t feel any different when I stopped. Another study on vitamins said that, taking vitamins in high doses can actually cause cancer. The problem is too many studies and not enough evidence to prove or disprove them. You hear on a regular basis, this is good for and that is good for you, then further down the line you hear the same things are bad for you. So so confusing.

  16. BillionDollarBiscuit

    People crucified me when I said most ailments within the body can be cured with a healthy diet.

  17. Crystal Temple

    I'm glad this was not an advertisement for a specific pill, but would love to learn more about which vitamins and which amounts. This was a great presentation.

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    Are you eating just to whet your appetite or to satiate your taste buds? Or are you eating in order to take better control of your life?

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  24. gabriella hong

    This video was very basic and gave little advice on how to live a healthier and nutritious life… Age old, exercise and eat fresh produce is common sense… Should have been labelled, "how aging effects body cells".

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