>Nutritional Therapy and Mental Wellness

>Can changing your diet and adding some vitamins help with depression and other emotional difficulties?

Diet and nutritional factors are probably the most significant factor in one’s mental health.

There have been numerous research that points to vitamin deficiency and resulting emotional difficulties such as depression and schizophrenia, and childhood disorders such as autism and ADD.

In fact, research shows that deficiencies in vitamin C, thiamine ( B3), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Niacin ( B2), and folic acid could be significantly  linked to depression and other emotional disorders.

Dr. William Walsh Ph.D, a former research  scientist conducted a study of public school children over a period of 4 years.
Findings: With a decrease in the amount of sugar, food colorings, synthetic flavorings, and preservatives commonly used in foods, a dramatic 15.7 percent of students increased in academic performance. The individuals who were in the study were children who did poorly in school, got irritable after eating sugar, and felt drowsy after meals. The basic problem  discovered was hypoglycemia.
Other studies have shown that food additives alone are sometimes enough to provoke a reaction in children, especially when other allergies are present such as reactions to milk, soy products, chocolate.
For some help with diet and nutrition, the following  are a few facts according to Dr. Richard Kunin:

Variety: Eat a little of a lot of different foods
Moderation: Don’t overeat or binge
Whole foods: Eat natural foods ( whole grains, fresh vegetables) rather than processed foods
Purity: Eat foods free of pesticides, and additives, preferably organic

For treatment of hypoglycemia:  Dr. Ross suggests a diet high in protein, low carbohydrate, and 3 meals daily with small snack every 2 hours between meals until bedtime.
People who have emotional difficulties should refrain from sugar, especially in times of extreme stress.
More on Depression: According to Dr. Riordan: Walnut Tea
Raising serotonin,(a chemical in the body that is important to sleep and sensory perception) levels in the body can also help to reduce depressive symptoms.
Dr. Riordan recommends walnut tea several times a day which is high in serotonin.
To make this tea simply steep a broken half of an English walnut in boiling water and drink it.

Dr. Riordan also believes that drinking plenty of water and breathing deeply are effective ways to reduce depression.
Dr. Riordan’s study on depressed people concluded that a non-depressed person breaths in 6 times more air than a person who is depressed. ( this is probably why yoga and its breathing techniques helps depression)
Other Alternative Methods that appear to help with emotional difficulties, including Schizophrenia include mega vitamins.
Drs Hoffer and Osmond have demonstrated that vitamin B3 ( nicotinic acid or nicotinamide) can double the recovery rates of those recovering from acute schizophrenia.
The concluding discoveries are that people get better, recovering from emotional difficulties with both nutrition therapy and vitamin therapy.
Taken in part from: Goldburg, B (1999) Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Tiburon, CA. Future Medicine Publishing.