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


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)


  1. So, I want to take a chance because I see many people pointing out the vegan diet is the way and I would like to put out my point of view as a non-vegan.
    I'm italian and I travel a lot for my job. By this day I can't say I found a place in the world who can give as tasty and as good quality products as for food as in Italy and I'm not the kind who's super rpoud of her country but when it comes to food I am.
    I spent 3 months in the US and realized where all the vegan-organic-bio fashion was coming from. I couldn't understand it until I wasn't living there. I've never seen such a poor culture about eating. I've seen people doing hard physical job and surviving until 6pm with coffee and nuts.
    I was hearing people talking all the time avout how bad sugar and coffeine was for you, vut the same people didn't have a decent meal in a week and considered that normal.
    So I must say I understood why people were so crazy about vegan/vegetarian diets and organic food.
    But I believe people would have noticed the same good results if instead of eating vegan they would have just eat properly. Buying good products, taking your time o cook healthy and GOOD food. And giving yourself a good treat every now and then because a nice plate can really change your mood!
    So this was my experience and I really hope more people will start to understand that food can bring value in our life if we give it some time and patience.

  2. My husband and I both focused heavily on proper nutrition in order to battle serious depression, anxiety, and psychotic symptoms of protracted medication withdrawal after 10 years of psychiatric medications making things worse for us, with constant hospitalizations compounding our PTSD. We have been living very well off medications and have completely avoided the hospital for 7 years now because of nutrition and community. There is more conclusive evidence about the negative effects of nutritional deficiencies than there is about the overall benefit of psychiatric medications. It is proven that long-term use of psych meds contributes to serious physical health problems and in turn contributes to the 15 to 30 year mortality gap between people diagnosed with mental illness and the general population. It seems to be common sense that good food equals good health; and those who live in poverty/food deserts, thus having to stretch their meals and make do with less nutrition, are more often diagnosed with mental health conditions. It also seems to be common sense that high sugar intake (Western diet) can greatly decrease the ability to focus and increase other symptoms of mental illness. I admire Rucklidge's solid scientific work, and I hope TEDx comes to its senses.

  3. I wish that she had specified which micronutrients are very important when it comes to mental health, but I'm sure such a list would include the usual suspects of Vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, omega 3s and the B vitamins.

  4. TEDx should be more specific about the "curatorial guidelines" that led them to flag this important presentation. This is the best TED talk I have seen – it is data based without standard medical prejudices. Shame on you TED for flagging this. Makes me wonder just how "non-profit" you really are.

  5. TED flag alert says "please consult with a mental health professional and do not look to this talk for medical advice. " WARNING: Consulting a Mental Health professional can seriously damage your health. You will likely end up on a lot of toxic psychotropic drugs with no exit strategy. If you find yourself in this situation and want to get off them, the chances of getting any meaningful help from a medical doctor are close to zero.

  6. yes speaks the truth which is what drug companies dont want anyone knowing, nutrition cures mental health. micro nutrients is what is needed to heal, get off coffee sugar and grains and eat healthy fats veg fruit.

  7. This talk was the ninth 2014 four years ago since then more studies of come out playing the role of nutrition is the real answer to preventing and healing depression and other mental health issues yet big Pharma all the big companies will do everything in their power to discredit this information we the people remember that phrase we the people must rise up and take our health back we been fed a line of BS you ask how do I know because for two years I’ve been suffering from the effects of medication two weeks ago I went to an all plant-based high nutrition pie amino acid diet as I text this I am 80% better now clearly see

  8. What were those 36 nutrients that would be good to know I know what does throw you out there google Truehope their protocol is exactly what she’s talking about or very similar and surprisingly it’s based in Canada I do not work for Truehope nor I have any financial interest I’m just a client thus far very happy client

  9. The pharmaceutical companies have done a wonderful job at destroying humans. The processed food industry has too. This must change NOW. Eat mostly plants people. It will change your life.

  10. Great TED Talk Dr. Julia Rucklidge! I hope modern health systems across the world accept this soon! But I am not sure if this science is completely accurate – there just isn't enough evidence yet. You seem to be very excited and supportive of these methods, improving diet and taking nutritional pills. I have a question about that. Where are those nutritional pills or nutritional sources with micronutrients sold? I don't have a good understanding of micronutrient pills (the ones with higher doses and more nutrients than at most stores).

  11. "We've flagged this talk for falling outside TEDx's curatorial guidelines…" Good on them. This kind of vigilance is what I've come to expect from TED. One step better would be to take the video down, but maybe that's beyond their ability?

  12. Making A Killing The Untold Story of Psychotropic drugging is a movie on Youtube every human needs to see. The pharmaceuticals companies we can't ever take these drugs. These companies are purposely hurting people. It is sad that people going to school to become Phd's or doctors are taught to give drugs and tell people to get therapy-Neither work as well as having a healthy diet and good friends.

  13. Why is this talk being flagged? The research behind it has been around for ages and the only entities that don't accept it are those the the processed food and pharma industries. Makes me wonder who's funding TED these days…

  14. confused. bc don't vitamin bottles say eating too much of the vitamins can affect your liver/kidneys? so in her studies with the extra amount of vitamins with higher dosages than OTC options, what would be the ratios of vitamins to not overload your organs?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

eleven + five =