We know that mental health is important. 1 in 5 Aussies (about 3.2 million of us!) have a mental illness in any year, and almost 1 in 2 (45%) will have a mental illness in their lifetime [1].

Now, recent Australian research has found that making improvements to the quality of the diet can result in substantial improvements to mental health. This has huge implications for the role of health professionals can have in the management and prevention of mental illness.

If you want to be up to date with the latest cutting-edge research in this field, this interview with Professor Felice Jacka is a must. Watch the video interview below.



About Professor Felice Jacka

Professor Felice Jacka is internationally recognised as a leading researcher in the field of nutrition psychiatry. Director of the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University and Founder and President of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, who better to help us understand this fascinating topic in nutrition?

In this interview, she shares with us her expertise on:

  • What is the link between diet and mental health?
  • How might diet improve mental health – what are the potential mechanisms of action?
  • What simple dietary changes can we make to improve mental health?


Interested to learn more?

We’ve compiled some of the most important and recent papers from Professor Jacka’s research for further reading:

  1. Jacka et al. A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial). BMC Medicine (2017) 15:23
  2. Jacka et al. Association of Western and Traditional Diets With Depression and Anxiety in Women. Am J Psychiatry (2010) 167:1–7
  3. Jacka et al. Western diet is associated with a smaller hippocampus: a longitudinal investigation. BMC Medicine (2015) 13:215
  4. Jacka et al. Food policies for physical and mental health. BMC Psychiatry (2014) 14:132
  5. Dash et al. The gut microbiome and diet in psychiatry: focus on depression. Curr Opin Psychiatry (2015) 28:1–6
  6. Jacka et al. Maternal and Early Postnatal Nutrition and Mental Health of Offspring by Age 5 Years: A Prospective Cohort Study. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry (2013) 52(10):1038–1047
  7. Opie et al. Dietary recommendations for the prevention of depression. Nutr Neurosci. (2017) 20(3):161-171

For further information, you can also check out the Food and Mood Centre online at:


1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra.