The Center for

Nutritional Psychology

AN ONLINE RESOURCE for mental health and healthcare professionals, nutritionists, parents, and interested individuals

Our vision

A Nutritional component to mental healthcare by 2030

CNP’s vision for the future of mental healthcare is a one that includes the role of diet in supporting mental health. CNP is working to fill the void in our current mental healthcare model by consolidating research, developing curriculum, and creating a methodology through which we can view the diet mental health relationship.


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Our Mission

Poor diet is already understood to be a major contributor in many aspects of disease and mortality, and is now being examined in its role in mental health. Studies from around the globe are demonstrating a diet-mental health relationship. Many individuals have some awareness of how the foods they eat affect how they feel. Some remain confused, and still others need proof that such a connection exists.

CNP’s mission is to serve as an online resource to provide clarity in the diet-mental health relationship, and to house research and information supportive of this connection. The CNP resource library is unifying information undertaken by researchers, mental health professionals, and the health community to understand the role that diet is playing in mental health. Our Resource library is a ‘living’ resource, and will expand as research and information come available regarding the dietary-mental health relationship.

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Curriculum for students in the mental health professions

CNP is developing university-level curriculum in Nutritional Psychology for inclusion in the psychological and mental-health related sciences.

CNP’s mission includes preparing mental health professionals to recognize the nutritional component that diet can play in impacting a client’s mental health. NP combines evidence-based findings on the diet-mental health relationship with psycho-educational tools to expand cognitive, behavioral, and perceptual skills that support positive mental health dietary choices.

If you are a professional with formal training in both mental health and nutrition and wish to be involved in the development of NP curriculum, please contact us!

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Examining the role that family, culture, community, society, and socioeconomic status play in determining our dietary intake patterns


Examining the relationship between our dietary intake patterns and our feelings, moods, and emotions


Developing an awareness of the relatively predictable dietary behaviors we present in response to consuming a western dietary pattern, i.e., ‘cabinet surfing’ at night


Developing awareness of the physical and mental sensations we experience in response to our dietary intake patterns (discomfort, pain, irritation, or peace, energy, and calm)


Using our mental processes (thinking, problem solving, learning, and creativity) to gain insight into how the food we eat is affecting our mental health.


CNP’s Parent and Professional Resource libraries contain hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on the effects of dietary intake patterns on mental health.

The Professional Resource Library focuses on adult mental health, while the Parent Resource Library focuses on child and adolescent mental health. Each library separates studies into major categories, for example, the effects of diet on mood, cognition, perception, behavior, and more.

The studies included in the CNP libraries are used to inform the field of Nutritional Psychology, and to support the development of CNP’s upcoming curriculum in Nutritional Psychology. Visit out Education page for more information (coming soon).


Supporting Parents and kids with Innovative Education

What if your children developed skills from a young age to be able to navigate through the western dietary landscape, and build an internalized awareness of how to eat to support and protect their mental health?

It’s not enough anymore to simply say “Eat your broccoli – it’s good for you!” Children’s exposure to the standard western dietary lifestyle becomes first-nature if left unattended. CNP is working to arm young kids with the cognitive, perceptual and behavioral skills to help them make conscious choices that help them in supporting their mood and mental health. Nutritional psychology is not a cure, but it is a piece of the puzzle for developing skills that support physical and mental health.


What are Nutritional Psychology “psycho-educational tools?”

CNP supports the development of ‘psycho-educational tools’ that help individuals develop new skills for increasing their understanding of how food impacts their mood, cognition, well-being and mental health.


Nutritional Psychology curriculum in development provides professionals with psycho-educational tools to help their clients develop the cognitive, behavioral, and perceptual skills needed for understanding the effects their dietary intake patterns may be having on their mood, behavior and mental health. NP gives mental health professionals another important piece of the puzzle for supporting their clients’ mental health and well-being by helping them understand how and why they can use food as a tools to improve the way they feel.

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CNP keeps you informed with the latest diet-mental health news

More evidence links ultra-processed foods to health harms

People who eat lots of ultra-processed foods are more likely to develop heart disease and to die sooner than those who stick with foods in their original form, two large studies conclude.

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Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term

Unhealthy food seems to make the body's defenses more aggressive in the long term.

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A closer look at the importance of gut mechanisms in depression

The variety of genes in gut bacteria is greater than 100 times the quantity of the human genome.

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Be a contributor

Take steps to help us develop our understanding of the relationship between diet and mental health. Together, we can build a new future of mental healthcare to include this important piece of the puzzle.

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