Food and Behaviour Research

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Unprocessed: How the Food We Eat Is Fuelling Our Mental Health Crisis

Author: Kimberley Wilson

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Book cover


Kimberley Wilson’s previous book How to Build a Healthy Brain has already been recognised as an NHS trusted source of health information, and it can only be hoped that this one will be rapidly added to that very selective list too.

Because as a psychologist who also has an MSc in nutrition, the author continues to take a unique approach in this latest publication, by combining her expertise in both fields, and tackling both of these complex areas with care, and attention to the actual evidence.

The book explains the flawed thinking of viewing mental health as distinctly separate from physical health, and provides eye-opening explanations to some poorly understood areas, as well as useful analogies e.g., nutrients being likened to the building blocks that “reinforce and fortify our brain architecture”. 

Far from making any sensationalised, reductionist or unsupported claims, this complex and multifaceted topic is explained with the necessary nuance by a professional with extensive clinical experience and training.

As well as being eloquently written, the narrative is rooted solidly in the evidence, and backed up primarily by human randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses, but with an accessible explanation of the basic principles that shape our brains and behaviour, and a sprinkling of more novel findings.

Moreover, while diet is explained to be a central - and largely overlooked - factor in our rising rates of mental illness, it is also presented as a key piece in an elaborate puzzle with many other pieces to it, rather than as the sole antidote.

FAB Research highly recommends this book as essential reading for anyone wanting to understand - and reduce - mental health problems of all kinds, whether their interest is personal or professional


Buy your copy of 'Unprocessed' here

'Explores the profound link between the food we eat and the way we think and feel
Radio 4 Start the Week

'A powerful book that breaks down the dangerous beliefs that food is just fuel and delivers an important message we can all get behind... the evidence Kimberley presents in this book will change lives and hopefully policy' - Professor Tim Spector

We all know that 
as a nation our mental health is in crisis. But what most don't know is that a critical ingredient in this debate, and a crucial part of the solution - what we eat - is being ignored.

Nutrition has more influence on what we feel, who we become and how we behave than we could ever have imagined
. It affects everything from our decision-making to aggression and violence.

Yet mental health disorders are overwhelmingly treated as 'mind' problems as if the physical brain - and how we feed it - is irrelevant. Someone suffering from depression is more likely to be asked about their relationship with their mother than their relationship with food.

In this eye-opening and impassioned book, psychologist Kimberley Wilson draws on startling new research - as well as her own work in prisons, schools and hospitals around the country - to reveal 
the role of food and nutrients in brain development and mental health: from how the food a woman eats during pregnancy influences the size of her baby's brain, and hunger makes you mean; to how nutrient deficiencies change your personality.

We must also recognise poor nutrition as a social injustice, with the poorest and most vulnerable being systematically ignored. We need to talk about what our food is doing to our brains. And we need decisive action, not over rehearsed soundbites and empty promises, from those in power - because if we don't, things can only get worse.

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