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Role of nutrition in minimizing mental and health-related issues during COVID-19: a systematic literature review

Luxita Sharma (Department of Dietetics and Applied Nutrition, Amity University Haryana, Gurgaon, India)
Dhananjay Sharma (Department of Dietetics and Applied Nutrition, Amity Medical School, Amity University Haryana, Gurugram, India)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 18 April 2023

Issue publication date: 25 May 2023




This study aims to conduct a systematic literature review to investigate the mental health problems during COVID-19 and the role of nutrition in minimizing mental and health-related issues during COVID-19.


A literature search was done electronically on April–May 2022 in the databases Google Scholar, PubMed and Cochrane Library, reviewing all the articles published in English. There were no limitations for the study (such as study design, region or any time frame). The quality assessment was done. The beginning database search picked out a total of 654 articles, 47 in PubMed, 575 in Google Scholar, 22 in Cochrane Library and 10 records from other sources. A total of 565 (duplicates found 89) were found after removing the duplicated articles, after reading the title and abstracts were further decreased to 88 full-text articles. These 88 studies went for full-text analysis, which excluded 56 studies and generated a final 32 articles for systemic analysis. The quality of the included study for the systematic review was assessed in two ways: one is evidence-based and another one on the JBI checklist.


People in social isolation and home quarantine suffer from severe anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness, anger and panic attack. During COVID-19, the vital role of diet and nutrients in mental health has been acknowledged and helps mitigate COVID-19 infection. Many studies showed stress and anxiety due to increased unhealthy eating and lifestyle practices.


This review will explain the interlink between diet and mental health because what we eat and think is interconnected with the gut–brain axis. The dietary elements and psychobiotic help in improving the immune system and psychological distress during the pandemic. This paper describes the role of different nutrients, psychobiotics and phytochemicals, to minimize mental and health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper also contains a balanced diet plan to withstand COVID-19.




Funding: No specific funding for the study was received. All authors received their salary from respective institution.

Conflicts of interest/Competing interests: Declared none.

Ethics approval: Does not required in a literature review.

Consent to participate: Does not required in a literature review.

Consent for publication: N/A.

Availability of data and material (data transparency): For literature review all selected articles are available in open system.

Code availability (software application or custom code): N/A.

Authors’ contributions: All authors wrote, read and approved the study for publication. DS and LS – conceived the design, analysis and planning, review and writing. LS – writing, critical analysis and review, supervision. All authors provided their critical feedback and approved the final manuscript.


Sharma, L. and Sharma, D. (2023), "Role of nutrition in minimizing mental and health-related issues during COVID-19: a systematic literature review", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 4, pp. 659-699.



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