Foods That Target Depression and Anxiety

Food can be medicine and it can also be poison. Today the link between depression, one of the most widespread diseases in the world, and diet is being recognized.

Every year hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer with the malady. It can have brutal consequences. However depression can be treated effectively. And diet is increasingly understood as an important part of treatment.

So why does the FDA threaten healthy food producers with fines or long jail sentences if they dare to mention the scientific research about why the food can combat illness? Why did the FDA warn both cherry and walnut growers that any mention of why these are super foods would turn these foods into “ unapproved drugs.” Yes, cherries and walnuts would become “ unapproved drugs.” Why the FDA does this is of course simple. The Agency is working, not for the public, but for the drug industry.

(From The Wall Street Journal)

Next month, the World Journal of Psychiatry will publish “Antidepressant Foods: An Evidence-based Nutrient Profiling System for Depression,” by Dr. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, and Dr. Laura LaChance of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. It includes a nutrient-profile scale, which identifies the most nutrient-dense foods in relation to “the prevention and treatment of depressive disorders.” The paper names 12 nutrients key to managing depression and anxiety: folate (vitamin B9), iron, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C and zinc. The foods richest in these include bivalves such as clams, mussels and oysters; leafy greens such as kale and spinach; wild salmon; organ meats; nuts; beans and seeds.

Nutritional psychiatrists assert that the “gut-brain” connection is the crux of managing anxiety and depression for many. “The balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is essential for mental health,” said Dr. Uma Naidoo, psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School, culinary instructor at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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