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Plant based nutrition and depression… A liveable tale – Part 2

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JULIE WARD
Plant-Based Nutritionist, Fresh Food Alchemy, Los Angeles, USA

Abstract

This is part two, of my personal story about healing depression with food and the subsequent research being done showing that food plays a major role in mental health. Depression can occur based on a combination of both internal and external factors. However, a change in diet can produce a reduction in the occurrence of depression. This article covers the foods to avoid and include in one’s diet to positively affect mood.


In part 1, I discussed my personal story of depression and the research that confirms depression can be caused by inflammation. The beauty of knowing that depression can result from inflammation, means that reducing the inflammation can potentially reduce depressive behavior. There are many ways to reduce inflammation. In part two of this discussion we will look at foods that can affect mood, both positively and negatively. In addition to creating new habits and a healthy environment.

 

FOODS TO AVOID

We talked about how processed foods high in fat can cause inflammation. Mainly because many of them are high in omega 6 fatty acids. Arachidonic acid is an omega 6 fatty acid that can be detrimental to mood and trigger inflammation in the body, which can reach the brain, and is found in animal foods. When there is an excess of Arachidonic acid in the body, it can show up in large amounts in neural membranes and result in neuroinflammation (1). It’s that increased brain inflammation that can lead to sadness, depression or other mental illnesses. In the National Cancer Institute’s report, the top sources of Arachidonic acid are chicke ...




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