Nutrition and Mental Health

Subject Overview

This subject takes a lifespan perspective to nutrition, diet and exercise, addressing nutritional requirements fundamental to human growth through the lifespan, drawing on different health and science disciplines to provide a basis for understanding nutrition in the context of mental health. Increasing evidence has emerged suggesting a link between dietary habits and mental and behavioural manifestation. Strong links between mental health treatment and nutrition have been identified. Dietary intervention is essential for people taking psychotropic medications. Students will discuss the many factors that impact on healthy food choices for people experiencing mental health conditions and how foods can be utilised within interventions to enhance mental health and wellbeing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues and complexity of nutrition through the lifespan and the ability to make informed decisions about current and emerging issues in nutrition, including its’ role in mental health intervention, maintenance and promotion
  • Locate and evaluate evidence-based information on the nutritional and therapeutic benefits of foods and make specific recommendations for their inclusion in the diet
  • Compare and contrast treatments based on ‘food as medicine’ and conventional treatment approaches for common diseases and mental health conditions
  • Critically assess information on food quality, food regulation, food production and consumption

Subject Structure

This subject runs for ten weeks, via our online learning platform NTiLearn.




Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is a private, not for profit, government accredited higher education provider offering studies in the areas of Buddhist studies, health and wellbeing, within an environment that incorporates contemplative education.

NTI offers postgraduate programs in Applied Buddhist Studies, Health and Social Wellbeing, Humanistic Buddhism, and Mental Health as well as customised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and special interest subjects across the areas of meditation, mindfulness and health.