Diet and Depression
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Diet and Depression

This is a discussion on Diet and Depression within the Alternative Treatment forums, part of the Treatment category; Diet plays a major role in determining one’s physical state in life. It also plays an equally major role in ...

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Old 08-19-06, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default Diet and Depression

Diet plays a major role in determining one’s physical state in life. It also plays an equally major role in determining one’s mental and emotional state in life. Mental and emotional illnesses, such as depression, can often be linked if not traced directly to dietary issues.
If you are suffering from depression, chances are your diet is part of the problem. If you are interested in addressing your depression from a wholistic perspective and treating it in such a way, the place to begin is with your diet.
Here is a very interesting statement to consider:

THE CONSUMPTION OF WHITE FLOUR AND/OR REFINED SUGAR CAN CAUSE OR EXACERBATE DEPRESSION IN SOME INDIVIDUALS.

Most people in our society indulge in the tasty treats created with white flour and refined white sugar, such as pastries, breads, crackers, candies, ice cream, etc. However, the consumption of these types of foods has been linked to B-complex vitamin loss, which can be a factor in depressive illness.
B-complex vitamins are essential to mental and emotional well-being. They are often readily available in healthy whole foods but are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars (including white flour), nicotine, and caffeine. Since most people in our society consume an abundance of at least one of these detrimental substances, it comes as no surprise that many people are deficient in B-complex vitamins.

THE B-COMPLEX VITAMINS INCLUDE:
-Vitamin B1 a.k.a. THIAMINE: The brain uses this vitamin to help convert blood sugar (glucose) into fuel, and without it the brain rapidly runs out of energy. This can lead to fatigue, depression, irritability, anxiety, and suicidal feelings/actions. Deficiencies can also cause memory problems, loss of appetite, insomnia, and gastrointestinal disorders, and lead eventually to the disease beriberi. The consumption of refined carbohydrates drains the body’s B1 supply. Found abundantly in eggs.
-Vitamin B2 a.k.a. RIBOFLAVIN: Found in a variety of whole foods, but frequent cracks in the lips and corners of the mouth is a sign of deficiency.
-Vitamin B3 a.k.a. NIACIN: Deficiency produces pellagra, which manifests as psychosis and dementia as well as other symptoms. Subclinical deficiencies can produce agitation, anxiety, and mental and physical slowness. Good sources include eggs, traditionally prepared masa harina (corn flour) for use in tortilla and tamal making,
-Vitamin B5 a.k.a. PANTOTHENIC ACID: Symptoms of deficiency are fatigue, chronic stress, and depression. Vitamin B5 is needed for proper functioning of the adrenal glands, hormone formation and the uptake of amino acids and the brain chemical acetylcholine, which combine to prevent certain types of depression. Plays a vital role in cell metabolism and cholesterol production. Found in organ meats, egg yolks and whole grains. Sufficient intake improves the body’s ability to withstand stress.
-Vitamin B6 a.k.a. PYRIDOXINE: Contributes to the proper functioning of over one hundred enzymes. Aids in the processing of amino acids, which are the building blocks of all proteins and some hormones. It is necessary in the manufacture of serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. Deficiencies have been linked to conditions ranging from mental confusion, nervous disorders and PMS to diabetes, coronary heart disease, impaired immunity, and skin lesions. Alcohol abuse, oral contraceptives, and MAOIs may lead to a shortage of B6. Deficiencies are widespread due to the wanton supplementation of B1 and B2 in white flour which interferes with B6 function, and also because virtually all milk products are pasteurized. B6 is heat-sensitive and so is destroyed by pasteurization; conversely, raw milk is one of the best sources of B6. Mostly found in animal products; raw meats and fish (especially raw salmon) are other good sources of B6 (be careful when choosing raw meats and fish- make sure they are of excellent quality, from a reliable distributor, and absolutely fresh). Vegetable sources include onions, sweet potatoes. Synthesis of B6 in the body is improved when the population of lactic acid in the intestine is increased (milk consumption).
-Vitamin B12 a.k.a. COBALAMIN: Found only in animal foods. Not absorbed from plant sources. Important to red blood cell function, deficiency leads to pernicious anemia which can cause mood swings, paranoia, irritability, confusion, dementia, hallucinations, or mania, eventually followed by appetite loss, dizziness, weakness, shortage of breath, heart palpitations, diarrhea, and tingling sensations in the extremities. Deficiencies can also manifest as obsessive-compulsive disorder, manic-depressive illness, unipolar depression. An early symptom of B12 deficiency is a tendency toward irrational anger. Deficiencies take a long time to develop due to the fact that the body stores a three- to five-year supply in the liver. One study found that a very high percentage of inmates in psychiatric wards suffer from low serum levels of B12. Some individuals seem to have a more difficult time absorbing and retaining B12 than others. The ability to assimilate B12 declines with age. Found in abundance in raw milk but almost completely destroyed by pasteurization. Other top sources include liver, sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon, lamb, eggs, haddock, beef, halibut, scallops, chicken, clams.
-Folic acid: Needed for DNA synthesis. Poor dietary habits contribute to deficiency, as do illness, alcoholism, and various drugs including aspirin, birth control pills, barbiturates and anticonvulsants. Often recommended as a supplement during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects.

The best source of B vitamins is whole grains. Sprouting increases B vitamin content, especially B2, B5 and B6. Refinement of grains not only wastes this essential source but also drains our body of supply, especially of B1. B vitamins are also found in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seafood, meats including organ meats, and can also be produced in the body by intestinal bacteria.
The B-complex vitamins are grouped up together because they are somewhat codependent; that is, a deficiency or excess of one can manifest in a deficiency of another. Imbalances in the B-complex vitamins are often first manifested in decreased mental and emotional health, which can worsen over time if the imbalance is not identified and corrected.

Some basic guidelines to follow when treating your depression through your diet include:

-Avoid all products containing refined sugar
-Avoid all products containing refined (white) flour
-Avoid excessive alcohol consumption (alcohol is a depressant)
-Eat plenty of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables- some cooked, some raw
-Eat at least one serving per day of soaked /sprouted cooked whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa
-Eat plenty of high-quality animal products if you can, including eggs, fish and meat
-If you do eat meat, try to eat some of it raw (make sure it is from an excellent source and is absolutely fresh)
-Try to get raw dairy products if at all possible
-Drink plenty of water (not necessarily with meals)
-Put love into your food and give thanks while you eat.
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Old 08-19-06, 11:00 PM   #2
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Wow. Thanks dreamer!
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Old 08-19-06, 11:05 PM   #3
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dreamer, I agree with tiggrr, WOW! It's great that you took the time to post that, to help others, what a wonderful, caring, & informational person you are! :shock: :D

Blessings!

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