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Nutrition & Mental Health

Discussion in 'Fitness, Health & Nutrition' started by J0SHUA, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. J0SHUA

    J0SHUA

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    In my seemingly endless research of solutions to mental health issues, I've found that diet makes a much bigger difference than I used to think. I have anxiety and depression, both pretty bad though the depression is more in waves. I've found that a diet completely cutting sugar out 100% (except one small apple a day), along with no processed food or fried food, completely erased 90% of my anxiety, my mood swings stopped, and I was very patient all of the time rather than my usual add type of behavior. That along with being in bright sunlight drastically changed my mental health. I think my poor nutrition and overnight work shifts were the reason for the all-time-low I had with my mental health a year ago. Thankfully I now have day shifts and am learning about nutrition's relation to mental health. I was only able to stick to that diet for about 5 days unfortunately. I am a little obsessed with food haha.

    I am going to do a Whole30 experiment soon to see how that affects my mental health. If I noticed drastic results in a few days, I'm excited to see how I'll feel after 30 days.

    Is anyone else interested in nutrition's relation to mental health? What else can people with anxiety and depression try when it comes to diet and exercise? I was talking to an author of a book about gut health and he thinks I have a Candida overgrowth but I don't think there's a way for me to get tested. I do have symptoms of an unhealthy gut so I think he may be on to something...
     
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  2. Look Up

    Look Up "What is unseen is eternal"

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    Congratulations on discovering something useful!

    Sunlight exposure and exercise has been widely observed to correlate with mood and mental health; correspondence with diet has probably not been observed as commonly so far as I have read, but that does not mean it is uncommon--in many cases it may be slight or difficult to correlate, for example if there is a delay in reaction or the reaction is masked by other possible causes or if the feeling is "that's just the way I am." Or there is a problem, but it is asymptomatic as far as the person is concerned. In my cousin's child and in the child of a fellow church member, negative food reactions have been strong and include behavioral issues.

    Fructose/HFCS and sucrose in the diet (and insulin resistance in our cells) is probably far more damaging than we want to admit at least in the amounts they are consumed in some cultures--though I don't know the effects of this common excess in the "glucose-burning" brain (such as in the amygdala). It is not uncommon that hyperactivity and other behaviors are ameliorated by reduction of sugar in the diet. And sugars in the gut are known to feed the wrong kinds of bacteria (hence for example bloating and gas, but also many other negatives). Cutting sugars and adding probiotics (a good brand) can help. There are a lot of lymph nodes in the intestinal region; food is a chemical stress on the body as well as benefit (though on the whole the benefits outweighs the costs). Cinnamon (the bark/spice without added sugar) eaten along with sugars and carbohydrates can help flatten the insulin spike (and honey has less of an insulin spike than potatoes)--not to encourage consumption of sugars and simple carbs!

    You may want to try supplementing with vitamin D3 (not D2) when you can't get enough sunlight. I usually take 6000 IU daily year round (sometimes higher). Such a dosage in our family seems to have reduced seasonal colds and flu's markedly ... and as you may know, there is a correlation between mental health and the immune system. Sunlight exposure can easily give one (so I understand) 20,000 IU equivalent in vitamin D3 production with, of course, no ill effects from the vitamin D3 produced even if one is in such sunlight exposure daily for sustained periods (skin damage and cancer from UV rays being a different issue).

    It would be great if you could further isolate (to greater specificity) what is causing or exacerbating your anxiety and depression. This can be hard if there are several "guilty" items in your diet. Going off a food item can be one test. Going back on the item to see if the symptoms return can be another, though for what it is worth keep in mind that food allergies (and sensitivities) can (sometimes) have a delayed reaction, for example of some days. And it takes several days (try three) for sugar cravings to abate after you go more or less "cold turkey" off sugar, so getting over the hump is important to keep in mind. Going off sugars is important in starving Candida infections; there is also the drug solution under a doctor's supervision if you can "stomach" the side effects.
     
  3. J0SHUA

    J0SHUA

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    Thanks Look Up :) that would be the purpose of the Whole30. Mostly a somewhat restrictive experimental diet for me to test what is going on. I also am going to get tested for food allergies. I am taking 5000iu liquid vitamin D3 everyday right now. I did this before and got my levels tested and was barely in the passing range, so my body must need a lot. There is a drug for a Candida infection? What would that be?
     
  4. bhsmte

    bhsmte Newbie

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    Proper nutrition is important.

    In regards to depression specifically, getting proper amounts and quality of exercise, may be even more important.
     
  5. J0SHUA

    J0SHUA

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    That is something I hear a lot, but I don't think I've experienced that. What kind of exercise would be best? I usually mix lifting with cardio, but I plan on more cardio :)
     
  6. bhsmte

    bhsmte Newbie

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    Typically cardiovascular.

    Getting your heart rate up to 70-80% of your max heart rate, for an extended period of time, 30 minutes or more.
     
  7. J0SHUA

    J0SHUA

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    Cool, thanks :D
     
  8. Look Up

    Look Up "What is unseen is eternal"

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    Such drugs would be by doctor prescription as I had implied and so far as I understand (unless possibly topical or perhaps depending on country), but you can Google-search easily enough for "drugs for candida infection" or the like--e.g., Difulcan and possibly an effect of statin drugs (which latter are usually used to treat high cholesterol).

    Or instead of drugs, you may also consider certain natural supplements (assuming no sugar intake simultaneously--including from "hidden" sources such as many beverages and breakfast cereals, and--for a treatment period--most fruits). Such antimicrobial supplements may include turmeric, garlic, oregano (Mediterranean variety only), coconut oil, grape fruit seed extract, wormwood, and so on. This assumes at least that (1) you do your own research and trials (emptor cavete), and (2) you test positively for candida infection.

    Note that one can react negatively to some of these natural supplements, but that for example turmeric, garlic, oregano, and coconut are widely used in the human diet already and well accepted by most and have various nutritional and health purposes. Absorption of some items (e.g., turmeric) tends to be improved with added bioperine, and enzyme from pepper. Probiotic supplementation is also thought to help (here as with many other health items), perhaps best taken at a different time of day than the others lest some of the "good bacteria" be partially killed off by the anti-microbials.

    All that should give you something to start or aid your own investigation. And don't forget about a possible Herxheimer reaction (Google that) as the candida albicans (or other unwelcome microbe) dies out!
     
  9. Peppermint Orange

    Peppermint Orange Newbie

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    Congrats on finding a diet that works well for you with improving your outlook and mood. I follow a diet similar to Whole30 and found it helpful with brightening my mood, which is nice that it helped considering the recent studies finding most anti-depression pills little better than sugar pills. Avoiding dairy was most helpful with lifting my mood, along with getting some sensible sun exposure too. From what I read avoiding grains, wheat in particular, seems helpful for many also with mood enhancement.

    I've also read about yeast and fungus growth causing health issues. If you have not seen it, Doug Kaufman has a nice web sight on that. He recently posted an article on boosting ones mood and the potential problems yeast can cause ones health.

    5 Natural Ways To Boost Mood

    http://www.knowthecause.com/index.p...chael-smith/3364-5-natural-ways-to-boost-mood
     
  10. Hannah♥

    Hannah♥ Member

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    Joshua, you rock! I love this thread, thank you!

    I have been on a similar journey myself! Long story short, I lost 50 lbs and was VERY VERY VERY happy. Truly, purely happy! But I started to become obsessed with food, trying to cut out this and that, and then beating myself up when I failed. It became a very ugly cycle that I was stuck in for almost 2 years!

    I absolutely agree nutrition and exercise effects our mental health. When I'm regularly exercising and eating more whole foods, I feel upbeat and energized almost all of the time. My insecurities leave me and I no longer feel anxious, inadequate, or unimportant. I become confident and happy!

    When I eat a ton of processed stuff or skip the gym for too long, it just gets ugly. I become irritable, sad, and mean. I become selfish and want more attention. I stop doing the things I love. I just become a very unhappy person that nobody wants to be around. But I had to find balance between perfection and failure, so here are some tips I have learned from the mistakes I have made.

    1. Don't make anything 'off-limits'. Doing this sets you up for failure. You can't tell yourself, "I will never have sugar again." Because you most certainly will, and when you do, it is going to feel like a failure. It can be the start of a very dangerous cycle of restriction, bingeing, guilt, and shame. It will just repeat like that forever.
    2. Shop smarter. Most major grocery stores have organic and natural aisles where you can find the best of the best that your store offers. You can eat cake, chips, ice cream, candy.. Anything you want as long as it is made completely naturally. Buy foods that use xylitol, stevia, or pure cane sugar as a sweetener. Most of today's foods have 'sugar' as an ingredient, but it's actually genetically modified beets which have been modified to taste sweeter (they grow faster and are cheaper so most big companies use that; it's hard for the body to break down and gets deposited in our gut which makes us unhealthy). You don't have to 'give up' anything at all to eat healthier - look into it! Try to be non-GMO and organic when you can.
    3. Make a routine of exercise. You should always make a point to exercise on the same day at least once a week. It sets aside time for you to be alone and burn off excess energy. Your body will become used to this and look forward to it. After a few weeks, you'll get butterflies when you're anticipating exercise. Of course any time you can do this in the fresh air, outdoors is best. Fresh air is so good for our mental health.

    Also a few 'natural' remedies I use for my own anxiety and depression:
    1. Grounding. Standing in dirt or grass with my bare feet for a half hour or more. For some reason it brings me back to earth and helps me relax.
    2. Aromatherapy. This can be expensive if you use essential oils, but that's the best way to do it. Still you can use candles, incense, baking.. Create any kind of smell to help you relax and unwind (lavendar, chamomile, eucalyptus). Of course you can also use smells to wake up, feel happier, and less stressed in the day time (lemon, grapefruit, orange).
    3. Cuddling. Sounds corny but it really does work. Being close with somebody you love and feeling their body heat can really calm you and relax you. Sometimes when we feel down all we need is the security of somebody else's arms.

    I wish you all the best!
    Hannah
     
  11. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Hi; if I may say so, good that you have very evidently been paying attention to weight and nutrition issues while you are young because once you get above a certain age then when thing start going wrong, everything starts to go wrong and it's the weight-conscious person with a good diet and habit of exercising that is far better off! :)
     
  12. Hannah♥

    Hannah♥ Member

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    Oh thank you! I absolutely understand what you're saying. I have had a much easier time of changing my lifestyle than my parents have. Hopefully I can sustain these habits for my whole life! ♥
     
  13. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Ms. Hannah:

    YW: Spiritual habits are similar (becoming accustomed when young at reading the Bible daily, etc.), but certainly if you (I wish I had) keep your body in healthy trim during the earlier ears of adulthood, then when the person becomes contemporary with your parents and later, it will pay many dividends health-wise.
     
  14. miss-a

    miss-a Newbie

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    Regarding candida treatment. There is a natural product that you can buy at online vitamin retailers, called Candex. It's very simple to use and very effective. It attacks that candida without upsetting the good bacteria in your gut. Some meds will kill both the good guys and the bad. With Candex you don't experience the fallout the die-off toxins from the candida dying and you maintain your good intestinal flora. It is a longterm solution, and effects are seen gradually, and most folks stay on a tiny dose for long periods to prevent grow-back of candida, which is a very persistent fungus. If you're have any questions about candex, I'd be happy to help. Just message me.
     
  15. Hannah♥

    Hannah♥ Member

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    Another thing to add to Miss-A, there's another natural supplement called Sam-E. It's something that occurs in our bodies naturally, but those who are anxious and depressed tend to have lower levels of it. You just take it once a day and it helps relieve stress and elevates your mood... A natural happy pill :p. I don't use it myself but friends of mine have been using it for years and they feel noticeably different without it. Something to look into. You can buy it anywhere, even the drug store. :)
     
  16. miss-a

    miss-a Newbie

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    Yes, Sam-e has helped many. Good point!
     
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