Correcting your diet can go a very long way towards helping you with depression. Even if it doesn’t help the depression it will set the stage, so that other treatments can work (i.e., its necessary but not sufficient). When it comes to diet and depression, there are several key points to consider:
- Increased intake of low mercury fish such as Haddock, Cod, Ocean Perch, Herring, Salmon, Sardine, Tilapia, Trout, Whitefish-are associated with lower risk of depression, suicide and even guilt.
- Don’t be a vegetarian: One of the paradoxes of this world is that ‘Life lives on Life’. From the bacterial level to the human level, that is the nature of nature. I have never met a vegetarian who wasn’t deficient in B12 (an important risk factor for depression and lots of neurological and hematological problems). Also, we need the different amino acid arrays of different forms of protein for optimal function. You might think, well I will just take some B12 and fish oil and that will take care of the issue. I think that doesn’t address the amino acid array in these protein sources or other factors we may not even know about. It seems that if our health cannot be maintained with the vegetarian diet, it may not be what we are intended to eat. So, I suggest separating out the moral issue (cruelty to animals) from the health issue. Make sure the fish and meat products you use are from sources that treat their animals humanely, and get a healthy piece of meat into your diet once per month, and small wild fish at least 2-3 times per week.
- Increase intake of vegetables-especially green leafy veggies.
- Balancing ones intake of protein, fats and carbohydrates can have a significant impact on depression within five days. This means that about 1/3 of your meal (by volume) should be protein (e.g., fish, meat) and 2/3 of the meal (again, by volume) should be complex carbohydrates (vegetables, beans, whole grains).
- The less processed your food is, the better. How do you know what is processed and what is not? The less altered the food is, from the way it grew in nature, the less processed it is. Nuts are low on this scale, as is an apple, but cookies and cakes are high on the scale.
- Avoid stimulants (chocolate, tea, soda, coffee), fruit juices
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, and even if it doesn’t feel like it is depressing you, it alters your sleep pattern in the second half of the night, leading to increased risk of depression. In moderation it may be good for the heart, but it is bad for the brain.