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Diet for Depression

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Unfortunately for those desperately seeking answers to the complex health issues of depression and weight gain, there is no such thing as a “depression diet”. Yes it is indisputable that nutritional deficiencies cause and support depression, but there is very little evidence that diet therapy alone is effective in treating depressive states. Sure an improved diet is always going to lead to improved overall health, but diet modifications have shown to be only "mildly helpful" in the prevention and treatment of a chemical depression.


Depression Diet Therapy

It is imperative in any depression treatment plan to provide the body and specifically the brain with proper nutrients. Depression “diet therapy”, which emerged in the 1950’s, is the practice of treating imbalances in the human body with nutritional corrections. As nutritional deficiency plays a huge roll in bringing on and fostering depression, supplemental nutrients are used to fight it. These necessary vitamins and minerals are found in everyday vitamin tablets, but for the purposes of depression rehabilitation they are needed in mega doses.


To battle depression the human body requires:


- Omega-3 Fatty acids - Omega 3 and other essential fatty acids are not manufactured by the human body and so must come from the food that we eat. A lack of fatty acids leads to the formation of dry cell membranes (sac around each cell) and the absence of fluidity in these membranes alters behaviors and moods and slows mental function.


- B Vitamins - The body cannot store Vitamin B so it must be replenished in our daily diet. Additionally all the fun stuff’ like caffeine, refined sugars, nicotine and alcohol destroy B vitamins.

- B1 (thiamine) - aids in converting blood sugar to fuel to energize the brain B3 (niacin) - lack of niacin produces anxiety, agitation and mental slowness

- B5 (pantothenic acid) is necessary in the formation of hormones

- B6 (pyridoxine) – aids in processing amino acids which produce serotonin

- B12 – needed to form red blood cells


- Folic acid – Needed for DNA synthesis (harmonization)


- Tryptophan - A natural relaxant that increases serotonin levels. Tryptophan is found naturally in turkey meat and is the reason why we get so sleepy after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.


- Vitamin D - Vitamin D helps the body to absorb minerals and other vitamins. Anyone whether depressed or not, that is not able to get 10 minutes of sunshine a day should also be taking a Vitamin D supplement for the same reason.


- Vitamin C - Another must have.


- Mineral requirements - magnesium, clacium, zinc, iron, manganese, potasium


Serotonin and Depression

The brain produces a chemical called serotonin which is the body’s natural mood elevator. Medical research has shown that depression has a direct impact on serotonin production and lab studies indicate that the one common factor in all suicide patients is a serotonin deficiency. So it’s pretty important to become aware of where your serotonin levels are at. This is definitely not something you can do at home. If you are suffering from depression, the first step is to see your doctor and have a full physical exam that includes a blood panel, thyroid test, urine test, and hair or nail analysis to rule out other possible medical problems and to find out what’s going on inside your body.


Treating Depression

Because depression affects you mentally, physically, and spiritually you will need to address all three areas for full recovery. Therefore your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or other psychological health professional. Try to have an open mind about these things as you will need all the support you can get. Above all, do not ignore any symptoms of depression as it is a serious and complicated medical problem that if undiagnosed, mistreated or completely untreated, may have dire consequences up to and including unnecessary death.


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