A good diet can help people recovering from mental illness, according to a new book by a Tooting-based author.

Mental health professional Umm Faruq makes the claim in her debut book, Genuine Recovery A Survivor Perspective - Resolving Mental Illness.

As someone who has suffered mental illness in the past, Ms Faruq said nutritional therapy provided an effective alternative to conventional medication.

She said: “I’ve been asked so many times why I chose to focus on nutrition as a means of managing and curing my own mental illness, and my first response is that I simply had to find an alternative to taking conventional medication.

“When taking medication, I just couldn’t focus and my ability to think straight was impaired. "Then, having stopped the medication, I could barely talk about mental illness without feeling I was going to break down.

“Through good nutrition I discovered a way I could deal with the withdrawal symptoms and cure my illness for good." Having previously worked as a mental health counsellor with former patients of Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital, Ms Faruq is now an independent mental health advocate, based at the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Her book draws on 20 years of experience within the mental health profession, as well as her own experiences of mental illness. She added: "My book shows how nutritional therapy can help build physical and mental resilience, leading to recovery, sustained good mental health and holistic wellbeing.”

Genuine Recovery a Survivor Perspective – Resolving Mental Illness by Umm Faruq is available for pre-orders now fromamazon.co.uk, priced £16.50.