Nutrition and depression

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Gallobhaí
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Nutrition and depression

Postby Gallobhaí » 04 Jul 2013, 11:19

Hi everyone.
I had problems in my past with depression, and I have taken many steps to combat it. What I found helped me the most was regular exercise and a highly nutritious raw vegetarian diet. No meat, no wheat, no heat (with the exception of boiling eggs) is the basic 'jist' of it.
It is hard to explain but even after a few days my mood, energy levels and confidence were substantially better. I thought this might be incidental so I returned to my old lifestyle for a week or so and I was back to my depressed self. I am back having green juice, fresh fruit, berries, nuts, vegetables and leafy greens everyday and for the first time I can believe myself when I say 'I feel great'!
I treat myself to Salmon every now and again, once a month or so, its oils are said to help with depression also.
My experiences with OBOD are ultimately what brought me here so I thank you, all of you.

Share any experiences you have regarding nutrition and mental health :)
Seán.
Beannachtaí,
Gallobhaí.
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Mountainheart
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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby Mountainheart » 04 Jul 2013, 16:27

Hi everyone.
I had problems in my past with depression, and I have taken many steps to combat it. What I found helped me the most was regular exercise and a highly nutritious raw vegetarian diet. No meat, no wheat, no heat (with the exception of boiling eggs) is the basic 'jist' of it.
It is hard to explain but even after a few days my mood, energy levels and confidence were substantially better. I thought this might be incidental so I returned to my old lifestyle for a week or so and I was back to my depressed self. I am back having green juice, fresh fruit, berries, nuts, vegetables and leafy greens everyday and for the first time I can believe myself when I say 'I feel great'!
I treat myself to Salmon every now and again, once a month or so, its oils are said to help with depression also.
My experiences with OBOD are ultimately what brought me here so I thank you, all of you.

Share any experiences you have regarding nutrition and mental health :)
Seán.
Interesting. I've no proof but have the feeling that eating fruit and veg that is very fresh (i.e still metabolically active ) is better for you than eating older plant material which has started to die (this commences very soon after it is removed from a water source).

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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby Aphritha » 05 Jul 2013, 15:44

I remember last year around the holiday season I started eating really poorly for a few weeks(as many of us do). Man, was I cranky! It wasn't until early the next year I caught the eating differences and corrected them, though at the time it was more because I was getting pudgy than ornary. When I dropped the junk food, my anxiety and crankiness left as well...


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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby Mountainheart » 05 Jul 2013, 16:48

I remember last year around the holiday season I started eating really poorly for a few weeks(as many of us do). Man, was I cranky! It wasn't until early the next year I caught the eating differences and corrected them, though at the time it was more because I was getting pudgy than ornary. When I dropped the junk food, my anxiety and crankiness left as well...
I've been a meat eater all my life but over the past couple of months I've been eating vegetarian one week out of every two as an experiment. I definitely feel better mentally and emotionally during the vegetarian weeks: so much so that I'm thinking of cutting meat out altogether.

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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby Aphritha » 05 Jul 2013, 17:14

Its been so long since I've had meat I really can't compare. Last time I had meat I was in middle school...I can say for having giving up meat at that age, I didn't suffer the weight and immune problems my sisters did. I find I have the most energy on a vegan diet, though other people say they don't have enough...I think its about learning what works for you individually. I've gone to just vegetarian for the duration of my pregnancy(the food aversions haven't been kind, so I had to eat accordingly), but I plan on taking it up again once the baby is born.


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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby Kris Hughes » 07 Jul 2013, 00:56

I think the lesson here is to experiment and see what works for you, but generally a move toward fresh food, lots of fruit and veg, etc has to be helpful!

Staying away from highly refined sugars and carbs helps with depression, it seems to me. Not only in myself, but in others I've been around to observe. For me, personally, protein is helpful, whether that's meat, fish, nuts, dairy or pulses - it seems to be what I need. If I don't get enough protein, that's when I seem to crave the refined carbs which bring me down.

All sorts of artificial additives are reckoned to affect the brain chemistry, so staying away from those is probably a great idea, although, personally, my diet is mostly free from them and I do still struggle with depression sometimes.
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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby feranaja » 07 Jul 2013, 12:41

I am not a sufferer but I work with people who are; everyone I see who improves is working on multiple levels ( mind, body, soul). As a herbalist I rarely make generic recommendations for serious conditions, but I will share some of the best resources I know.

An overview of nutrients and depression:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738337/

A somewhat different perspective from Chris and a ton of resources:
http://chriskresser.com/depression

http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/ ... depression
The usual excellent overview from Todd, but I am a little wary of his herbal suggestions - simply because some - bacopa, anemone - are really best handled by a professional, and also it is very challenging for an untrained herbalist to select which ones to use and in what proportion. I've been working with plants since the 1980s and I am still studying formulation; it's a lifetime to master. I don't advise just taking these herbs at random. But the overview is very good here.

Nutritionally, in my practise and experience I've found that limiting or eliminating gluten is often helpful, insofar as any allergy or sensitivity should be removed; diet needs to supply our nutrient requirements but beyond that there are many personal variables. I often see people helped with a Paleo-type diet, but I'm working with a fellow animal lover(rescue worker) who is depressed in part due to the horrific things she's seen in her job, and her switch to a balanced vegetarian diet has been helpful..on a spiritual level, but I feel a liver detox (associated with abstinence from meat) is part of it. In most cases I see benefit with supplemental VitaminD3 (and I do recommend a full bloodwork to check those levels and B12, etc). and with magnesium, Bcomplex and marine lipids (fish oils or krill, always with additional VitaminE unless otherwise indicated). Some people report improvement with SAMe, if you're not familiar with it, check here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/3 ... epression/


Good diet (meaning personally tailored to YOU) with the right herbs, and sleep! is an important platform for the all-important Innerwork and may provide just that level of relief required to make a difference.. I highly recommend seeing a skilled herbalist, naturopath, nutritionist in your area.
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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby skydove » 08 Jul 2013, 18:40

A large daily salad for one meal or a bowl of cut up fruit as a substitute for another work wonders to keep you bouncing like a budgie!
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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby Bracken » 08 Jul 2013, 19:03

A large daily salad for one meal or a bowl of cut up fruit as a substitute for another work wonders to keep you bouncing like a budgie!
Tweety-tweet. :D
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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby saphera » 09 Jul 2013, 09:50

I have become gluten and dairy free the last few years and have found my moods have become more balanced.
Gluten in wheat, barley and oats can really mess gluten sensitive people up both mentally and physically...( gut problems.)
Gluten sensitivities are very common.
I also think that blood types play a huge part in what food works for a person. Blood type is the basis of a body's chemistry and determines how that body copes with stress, digests food and what type of exercise that person is more suited to....and what diseases a person is prone to.
Type O is the most common world wide and is the oldest blood type dating back to stone age peoples....and then food was meat and any fruit or veg that could be gathered...and physical activity was the high energy of the hunt.
Type A evolved next after growing crops began...so they are best suited to less meat and more veg and fruit...and physical activity was more sedate and more demanding strength wise....these people were almost vegetarians.
Then type B evolved when peoples moved further north and took up keeping animals for meat and milk....they had both meat, dairy and crops including grains to eat.
The last type to evolve was type AB....the are more suited to modern foods.
I believe blood type is a characteristic that is little noticed in relation to health and potentially is the single most important thing marker to take into consideration for physical and mental wellbeing..
I am type O and there is no way I can take meat out of my diet. I can't handle wheat products, dairy or high volumes of fruit and veg.
In all endings are beginnings....

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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby katie bridgewater » 14 Jul 2013, 13:02

I think there's a lot to say for the blood-type / diet connection. It makes sense and seems to work chez nous. I am inclined to think that much of my endless depression in my twenties was exacerbated by diet, since I was otherwise fit, healthy and quite together as young people go. I am much happier now on a low gluten, high omega-3 diet with game and some organic dairy. I find refined sugar is dreadful for affecting moods and energy levels, although strangely I find in the form of home-made cake, it has a less damaging effect... :wink:
My relationship with food has been central to my religion over the last decade, and my diet has been very much affected by my spiritual practice, which is summed up by the Midwinter Bear Feast. A deeper relationship with the world and my place in it has led me to avoid (or at least, try to avoid) intensively farmed anything, mass-produced food, and maybe my increased internal happiness is not just about the nutrients but also about this relationship.
I still get 'depressed' but these days it's about identifiable things like grief for a loss, anxiety about money and distress about the mess this planet is in. It's no longer that blanket depression caused by too many doughnuts... :) And it's hard to disentangle the benefit of eating more nutritious home-grown food on mood, and the act of growing it, which is also very good for you!

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Re: Nutrition and depression

Postby Chenzen » 01 Nov 2013, 15:12

My experience dealing with dieting and exercising is simply this, sitting hours in meditation allowed me to really listen to what my body wanted. With that knowledge in mind I was able to kick most of my sugars and bad stuff (really beefy meats) and with this I dropped close to 100 pounds 311-205. Now if I eat anything with beef I get extremely sick and I hear of many people who can't eat it either and my depression from which I suffered from more most of my life was kept in check with a regular exercise at my local gym. It's all about what you do and put inside your body and it's actually easy to do but it's also easy to NOT follow a regime like I do. Many people give up easily and just go back to what they were doing before. I say keep going don't give up!!


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