Beat Depression with Brain Food while Eating Junk Food




Alternative_Medicine2.jpgDepression sucks, and we have probably all heard that it can be combated with proper diet and adding in missing nutrients. But who are we are fooling? Often, a clinically depressed person would prefer chocolate cake and potato chips for dinner rather than the salmon and salad that would help their condition. I think this is a situation that can be easily overcome.

If you have experienced depression, you understand the feelings of hopelessness and despair. You feel as if nothing will ever feel good again and the bottom is about to drop out from under you. The difference between “the blues” and depression is the difference between night and day and we all feel “the blues” once in a while, but it passes as quickly as it comes. Depression is the feeling that you are swimming in a black lake and you can never make it to the shore to escape.

Depression may sometimes be caused by physical conditions such as unbalanced brain chemicals as a result of poor nutritional and lifestyle choices. In these situations, depression is reversible without needing synthetic medications. Some people opt for the latest wonder drug offered by the drug companies but there is a better, long term solution to treat depression. The human brain and body has to be given the tools to run efficiently and to produce the appropriate responses. Your brain is an incredibly complex machine that produces chemical signals that run your entire body. If you are not providing your brain with the appropriate minerals, vitamins, fats and amino acids to efficiently release the appropriate chemical signals, the result can be depression and a host of other problems. So, how do you feed your brain to treat depression permanently, even when all you want is junk food?

Supplements are the answer. You don’t have to change your diet while you are depressed. Use supplements to climb out from under the depression and when you are feeling better, slowly change your diet. Below are some easy supplement options.

Your brain needs amino acids to produce neurotransmitters that carry the chemical signals in your brain. You can get amino acids through protein like lean meat, cheese and fish but it is easier to take an amino acid supplement, along with tryptophan, phenylalanine or whichever specific amino acids you need more of.

Leafy, dark green vegetables give you many valuable vitamins and minerals to increase the efficiency of your body and brain fighting acidity that leads to fatigue and the feeling of being worn out. But why not just take a daily multivitamin instead?

You need good fats to get enough omega-3 to fight depression. You can get good fats in extra virgin olive oil, avocados, flax seed oils and other healthful oils but you can also get them in a capsule with 1000 mg of omega-3’s.

Keeping hydrated is vitally important for your health and this one you can do while laying on the couch eating Twinkies!

  • flax seed

    Right, you can’t treat depression in a sustainable manner if you won’t keep a close watch of your food intake. Good nutrition can spell a lot of difference over a depressed state of mind and won’t give you the side effects typical with psychiatric medicine. Fueling the body with Omega 3 nutrients can help treat depression and this can be done through the regular supplementation of flax seed, which is considered as a brain food. In fact, Omega 3 is being considered today as a possible treatment for depression by the APA. Low levels of the hormone seratonin on the brain is linked to depression. According to CNN’s Dr. Gupta, low levels of Omega 3 seem to lead to low levels of seratonin.

    source:
    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2007/11/16/gupta.omega.acids.and.mood.cnn

  • I love this blog, and thank you for the information on depression. It’s a very deep area of interest for me, having recovered from it once, and having friends who are still in it.
    Cheers,
    Albert

  • Here’s a good list of foods with omega 3 other than flax seed..

    http://www.brainhealthandpuzzles.com/Omega_3_Fatty_Acids.html

  • Pingback: Carnival Mental Illness - Edition #3 « LIVING IN STIGMA()

  • Fantastic Post, Some people do need meds and/or therapy but there are so many other things that you can do to alleviate the symptoms of depression. How about exercise – I just wrote a post about an alternative method to relieving depression being exercise over on my blog at http://healthfitnessvitamin.com How about just forcing yourself to smile by doing something fun. Ever try to smile and feel depressed at the same time? it dosn’t work. And yes supplements are also a great idea. I remember one bout I had with depression all, I wanted to eat for dinner every night was chocolate shake – that would not have been so bad if I had gotten my nutrition from supplements at the same time. Being I didn’t take supplements I lost a lot of weight which was so unhealthy and just contributed to my depression.

    Thanks for the post!
    Scott Becker

  • LATAYA HENDRIX

    HI.. NAME IS LATAYA.I’VE BEEN SUFFERING FROM MENTAL ILLNESS SINCE I WAS A TEENAGER. DO TO SERIOUS TRAILS AND TRIBULATIONS,I FELL INTO A VERY DEEP DEPRESSION- WITH HEARING OF VOICES ATTACK MY MIND. I DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS DO TO SERIOUS TRAMA OR A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE OR BOTH. I’VE BEEN STUCK LIKE A” BIRD IN A CAGE WITH HIS WINGS CUT OFF” IT’S SO CRAZY. YEAH, I’M ALSO UNDER ALOT OF MEDICATIONS,BOTH MENTAL AND PHYSICALLY,BECAUSE I NOW HAVE SERIOUS PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS AS WELL.TELL WHAT I DO ABOUT THIS IN A SERIOUS IN A ALTERNATIVE APPROUCH LIKE” HERBS AND VITAMINS ,AND OR OTHER,YOU TELL ME!!! PLEASE WRITE TO ME!!!

    GODBLESS

  • Dear Lataya,

    Thanks for your readership and commentary. However, we do not provide medical treatment or advice, as printed in our site’s disclaimer.

    Concerning your request for information, I can direct you to a published article that my team wrote in the Nutrition Journal. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Shaheen

    Reference

    Lakhan, S.E., Vieira, K.F. (2008). Nutritional therapies for mental disorders. Nutrition Journal, 7(1), 2. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2891-7-2

  • Lataya,

    I hope you don’t mind if I add something here. You really should not do anything without medical supervision. Now I am not saying that there are not alternatives that can be tried to go along with medication, but I would not take any advice from anyone on the internet being that they do not know your background and medical history. You would not want to do anything that would harm you in any way. I have had clinical depression all of my life and only had it under control for the past two years. My blog for instance suggests some of the the things that I have done to make a recovery, but I don’t want you to go do things like exercise unless you are capable of it. What I do want you to do is search the internet, like you are doing and then take what you find to a trained medical professional and ask their advice on the idea based on your condition. I wish you well and want to let you know that you have a lot of courage telling your story on a blog!

    Scott Becker

  • Catherine

    I’ve read a lot about St. John’s Wort for depression. There’s a good article here:

  • paul

    Ya, I can feel the pain of depression.I joy knew no bounds on seeing your article to help people who suffer from depression. I have heard about attending counseling to recover but your tips are more worth full and effective. Thanks a lot…

  • Awara

    For depression, I recommend that one sees a counsellor to ascertain the source of the problem first. What I do to cope with down days is to pump iron, take vitamin B complex, omega 3 foods.

  • wow this is great! i suffer from depression but i refuse to let it take me out…i am seeing a psychologists but i refuse to take medication…i am doing it the way that u hae prescribed…i feel a whole lot better knowing that i am doing all the right things…i am eating healthy, going to the gym, and just getting some balance in my life…i have a blog that i would like to share please go read and leave a messege…God Bless….go to….kingskid.myblogsite.com

Karen Vieira, MBA, PhD

Karen Vieira, MBA, PhD, has written about medical research, medical procedures, food ingredients, herbal remedies, pharmaceutical drugs, condo construction, real estate and computer consulting to mention a few.
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