Melon-Collie. Depression & Diet

Study after study affirms–we are what we eat. Diet plays a big role in depression and other forms of mental illness. Sadly, people want the easy shortcut of supplements instead of a diet of real, whole foods, or they refuse to give up the foods that are hurting them. Adding supplements to your unhealthy diet is not going to make the difference.

You need LOTS of dark leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale and all sort of greens) and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels), bright colored berries, healthy fats like virgin olive oil (pour it on your veggies and you’ll get a lot more nutrients) and flaxseed oil and lots of fiber (which you can get from the above and add some sweet potatoes). Your meat and eggs, if you eat them? pastured organic. You want to avoid the nasty chemicals and stress hormones from animals that live in tortured conditions.

Just as important as what you eat? What you do NOT eat: sugar (that means: corn or agave syrup-both worse than table sugar-artificial sweeteners, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc), wheat, processed, packaged, or fast foods. These contribute to depression, dementia, autoimmune disease, heart disease, and digestive diseases.

Water. Your brain is 80% water. You need clean pure water, not from plastic bottles, and lots of it.

Unfortunately, often people come to me desperate for help and when I give evidence-based suggestions based on lifestyle changes, they refuse to give up processed foods, wheat/gluten, and sugar in order to feel better, instead relying on pharmaceuticals that make them sicker for temporary relief.

As evidence mounts that our SAD (Standard American Diet) and lack of exercise and sleep is the root of so much suffering, it is time to shift our thinking to creating wellness in our lives. Instead of thinking, I deserve these bagels, donuts, chemical-filled burgers and Subway sandwiches, I hope one day we can believe: I deserve to be well.

Of note in the research: women’s brains seem to need more antioxidants, especially vitamins A, C and E (which can all be found in the plant-based foods listed above), as well as the anti-inflammatory omega-3s found in fish, nuts and seeds (oils listed above).

Try making a small change every few days rather than try to change everything at once. I don’t want you to fail. Just add more greens to your diet at first. Resist that cookie. Drink a glass of water when you first wake up. Set small goals and meet them–reinforcing your success. You can get there!