It’s Not All In Your Head

If you think that your diet might be driving you crazy, the fact is, it might!


I followed a link this morning to Lancet Psychology Today, which is a British psychology magazine, that called for psychiatrists to be more aware of patient’s diets than they currently are.

In the past several years, links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health, and scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to the understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health. Many epidemiological studies, including prospective studies, have shown associations between healthy dietary patterns and a reduced prevalence of, and risk for, depression and suicide. Maternal and early-life nutrition is also emerging as a determinant of later mental health outcomes in children, and severe macronutrient deficiencies during crucial developmental periods have long been implicated in the pathogenesis of both depressive and psychotic disorders.

Yeah, what he said. I have recently read that a healthy gut micro-biome is as important to mental health as it is to heart health. My own personal experience has been that if I eat too much in the way of carbohydrates that I will become easily agitated, and that I have less fine motor control to do detail work. When I am carb free I have better control of my fine motor skills. Do I credit my germs or my nerves, well, I don’t credit either. I know what works for me and I recommend you try eating real foods to realize benefits in your and your family’s mental health. It’s not just me…

A recent systematic review has now confirmed a relation between unhealthy dietary patterns and poorer mental health in children and adolescents. In view of the early age of onset for depression and anxiety, these data suggest that diet is a key modifiable intervention target for prevention of the initial incidence of common mental disorders. (bold not in original)

Folks, the bold part uses the term ‘Unhealthy Dietary Patterns” but you may substitute in there the words “the typical American Diet”, because later on there is ….

…results from the large European PREDIMED study19 showed a strong trend towards a reduced risk for incident depression for individuals randomly assigned to a Mediterranean diet with nuts, and this protective effect was particularly evident in those with type 2 diabetes. Similarly, results of an indicated prevention trial showed that dietary counselling was as effective as psychotherapy at prevention of transition to case-level depression in older adults. A randomised controlled trial designed to test the efficacy of dietary improvement as a treatment for major depression is underway.

Also they give a shout-out to the benefits of Omega-3 essential oils. Search in this blog for science on omega-3 oils. Long story short, you can get all the omega 3 oil that you need if you would start eating fish and grass fed meats instead of the grain fed ones you are currently getting at the local grocery. Find and use grass-fed butter, omega 3 chicken eggs, lard to cook with that is from naturally raised hogs.

I am not surprised to read this news, though. My own experience with quitting carbs showed me the powerful effects that eating them had on my health, weight and mental state. Changing to a diet that contained a higher percentage of protein and natural fats has had and continues to have a profoundly beneficial effect.

If you need another reason to get off the Western Diet, as if not suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, autoimmune diseases and heart disease are enough, now you can add no depression or other mental health problems. I was already sold.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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