Can you diet for depression?
Is there a relationship between your diet and depression?
Does a poor diet increase depression?
Can you improve your mood by improving your diet?
The answers to these questions are...
A similar diet for depression question was addressed in an article written by Ronald Pies, MD, "Question: I've heard a lot about food affecting mood. Are there foods that I can eat to improve my mood? Answer: June 19, 2000 -- Probably not, unless your current diet lacks key nutrients."
Dr. Pies then goes on to address the issue of a diet for depression by explaining that many nutrients have been found to affect mood. (12)
The fact is few people consume a truly adequate diet. Thus, it is likely that your diet lacks key nutrients. And therefore you can probably benefit from a diet for depression.
Dr. Michael Janson and Julian Whitaker wrote in their book, Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution: Seizing the Power of Nutritional Therapy for a Healthier and Longer Life, "People think -- and some conservative nutritionists would agree with them -- that following a balanced diet provides all the vitamins they need. This is simply not so." (8, p. 9)
Dr. Janson explains that you often don't get sufficient nutrition through your diet because of many factors including...
Food contains an abundance of toxins that both increases your need for nutrients and destroys nutrients that you have consumed.
Drinking water also contains many toxins that have the same impact on nutritional needs.
The air that you breath is polluted, again having the same impact on nutritional needs.
Unstable, high-energy molecules in your body -- called free-radicals -- cause damage to the cells in your body increasing nutritional needs.
Agricultural practices that increase the amount of food produced also reduce the nutritional value of food.
- Different people have different nutritional needs.
Amanda Geary, in her book The Food And Mood Handbook: Find Relief at Last From Depression, Anxiety, PMS, Cravings and Mood Swings, wrote about a diet for depression, "Food can affect your mood, and what you choose to put into your mouth can influence your state of mind." (7,p. 1)
Scientific diet for depression research has confirmed that an inadequate diet can cause -- or contribute to -- depression.
When adolescents don't have enough to eat they are much more likely to experience dysthymia (a type of long-term depression), to have thoughts about death, to want to die, and to have attempted suicide. (1)
Another study involving 724 single, low-income women found that those who didn't have sufficient food were more likely to have major depression. (14)
When individuals who are depressed are put on a diet that causes tryptophan levels to decrease, depression increases. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in many high protein foods. (15)
A study that measured the level of magnesium and calcium in the cerebrospinal fluid of individuals who are depressed and suicidal found higher levels of calcium in those who were depressed and lower levels of magnesium in those who were suicidally depressed. (3)
Repeatedly, diet for depression research has found that insufficient consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins, folate, and vitamin B-12 is associated with depression. (13)
Aspartame has been found to contribute to depression as well as other psychiatric and non-psychiatric problems. To learn more click here.
In summary, many nutrients have been found to have an impact on your mood. A diet that lacks key nutrients -- including vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and fatty acids -- may contribute to depression.
The problem of insufficent nutrition is compounded by toxins, pollution, free-radicals, and modern agricultural practices.
Why is this? How does a good diet help you have a good mood and a poor diet contribute to a bad mood?
Click here to find out.
For a list of references cited in The Diet and Depression Link -- Diet for Depression, click here.