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1News: Can Nutrition Help Solve the Mental Health Crisis?

Posted on : May 23, 2024 by Hardy Nutritionals® No Comments

In recent years, the name Dr. Julia Rucklidge has gained widespread recognition, not just among academia but also among the general public. As a best-selling author, TED Talk star with millions of views, and a professor at the University of Canterbury, Rucklidge, a clinical psychologist, has dedicated over a decade to researching the profound link between nutrition and mental health. Her findings, which challenge the modern dietary norms, offer a fascinating and necessary perspective on how the food we eat affects our mental well-being.

The Alarming State of Our Diets

As reported by 1News, Julia Rucklidge first captured widespread attention in 2015 when she took the TED stage to share a critical insight: “The more you eat a prudent or Mediterranean or unprocessed type of diet, the lower your risk for depression.” Her message has remained consistent over the years, emphasizing that a healthier diet translates to better mental health.

Fast forward to 2023, and Rucklidge's warnings have become even more dire. She points out, “Half of our calories are coming from ultra-processed foods. In fact, half of the calories of five-year-olds are coming from ultra-processed foods.” These foods, typically found in attractive packages with enticing marketing, are largely devoid of essential nutrients. Rucklidge underscores the importance of these nutrients, particularly for brain health, noting that “the brain is an organ. It's two percent of body weight, but it consumes between 20 to 40 percent of the nutrients that you eat.”

The Evidence Across Various Studies

Rucklidge's extensive research encompasses a wide range of mental health conditions, including autism, ADHD, and aggression in prisoners. Her findings consistently reveal that some individuals require higher nutrient levels to manage their symptoms effectively. This is particularly pertinent as our modern diets often fail to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals, leading to widespread deficiencies that can exacerbate mental health issues. 

Real-Life Impacts: Stories of Transformation

The impact of Rucklidge’s work is evident in the lives of individuals like Robin Georgieff and Sam Johnson. After suffering from postnatal depression and being diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder, Georgieff spent 30 years on various medications. However, armed with Rucklidge's research and under her GP’s supervision, she transitioned to Daily Essential Nutrients, a clinical-strength micronutrient formula, and eventually withdrew from all medication. “People say, ‘Robbie, you're looking so well.’ I feel really, really well, and it's not just a fad. It's something that I'm committed to,” she shares.

Sam Johnson, founder of the Student Volunteer Army, faced a traumatic brain injury following a garden accident. He recalls, “For me, [the micronutrients] enabled me to function how I used to be as a guy with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.” Johnson believes the investment is worthwhile despite the cost of up to $5 (US) a day: “You only get one brain, right? So, you've got to look after it.”

Advocacy for Public Funding

Rucklidge is a strong advocate for the public funding of micronutrients, particularly for individuals who cannot obtain sufficient nutrients from their diet alone. Her peer-reviewed research has already influenced policy, with Pharmac approving micronutrients as a second-line treatment for ADHD. In the US, Daily Essential Nutrients is now FDA-approved as an investigational new treatment for ADHD. While she emphasizes that she is not anti-medication, she strongly believes in the power of nutrition: “I would start with being practical and follow what your ancestors would have eaten. What would your grandmother or great-grandmother perhaps have eaten? It would have been real foods. It would have been things that were grown in a garden.”

A Call to Action

One of Rucklidge’s most significant critiques is the lack of nutritional education in the mental health field. She points out that nutrition is not part of the curriculum for medical education, nor is it integrated into the mental health services provided to the public. “It's not the only thing to do with mental health, but it's one that we are absolutely ignoring,” she asserts.

Hardy Nutritionals® works with thousands of health professionals the world over and offers free clinical training online to bridge the educational gap for clinicians.

Compelling Evidence

Julia Rucklidge’s research provides compelling evidence backed by over 50 independent medical journal publications—including several double-blind placebo-controlled trials—that our diets play a crucial role in our mental health. By emphasizing the importance of whole, unprocessed foods and advocating for better nutritional education and support, Dr. Rucklidge is paving the way for a healthier, more mentally resilient society. Her message is clear: eat well, supplement properly, and feel better. It’s a simple yet powerful directive that has the potential to transform lives and improve mental health outcomes across the globe.

For more insights and updates on how nutrition impacts mental health, visit

Hardy Nutritionals® multivitamin-mineral products are powered by our proprietary NutraTek™ mineral delivery technology, which combines each mineral with specialized organic molecules—just like nature—to optimize absorption and distribution to body cells. Our flagship supplement, Daily Essential Nutrients, is widely considered to be the most research-backed micronutrient treatment.
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