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Food Served with Love

answered 12:22 PM EST, Sat March 23, 2013
anonymous anonymous
Is there a particular type of diet that is most protective of good mental health? Like paleo or meditaranean or fruitarian or whatever! I am willing to make dietary changes because I am in remission from depression and life is beautiful and I want to stay where I am but I am just overwhelmed and confused by all the information out there and nobody seems to agree on the same things!!!

Katie Brooks Says...



You are right!  It can be confusing out there.  Since there is a lot of controversy surrounding diet, it is best to focus on what you are trying to accomplish.  The fundamental rules are simple when you are eating to "protect your mental health".  First and foremost, be kind to yourself.  Serve your food with love and at appropriate times in the day.  Everyone needs to eat to survive, so skipping meals can be agitating to your mood.  Try not to get caught up in rule-bound eating.  


When it comes to depression, foods that are colorful and aesthetically pleasing naturally entice the senses. Take time to set up your plate, care for yourself, and really sit down to mindfully eat your meal.  This sends the message that you care for your nutritional health.  Sometimes it is helpful to eat foods that remind you of joyful memories.  For instance, try out grandmas Christmas fruit salad when you are feeling down.  Another idea might be to have bananas with peanut butter if your best friend from childhood loved them.  Sights, sounds and smells can all produce emotionally charged memories.


When you think of food as fuel for your body you will automatically know what to eat.  That being said, circle the outside of your local grocery store and you will find whole foods.  Try to limit foods that are packaged or processed.  Recent studies have shown that people who eat nutrient rich whole foods are less likely to report feelings of depression than those who regularly ate deserts, fried foods, processed meats, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products.   Although organic foods tend to be more expensive, they also contain less harmful chemicals.  In addition, Fruits and vegetables, vitamin b rich foods, and Omega-3 fatty acids have been specifically targeted as possibly being more affective for prevention or reduction of depressive symptoms.  


Pay attention to when you are actually hungry or just craving because of an emotional need.  Whenever possible eat with others to reinforce social interaction with pleasurable circumstances.  This can help reward social interaction.  Good luck in your recovery.  Best thing to remember is the skills that you have already acquired in recovery.  You are right... life is beautiful... good for you!  If you need further detail regarding diet I would suggest seeing a dietician in order to clear up confusion.




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Page last updated Mar 23, 2013

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