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Diet and Depression: 8 Foods to Avoid

By HERWriter
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Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble and headed to the psychology section. Since I have clinical depression and also am studying to be a psychologist, I wanted to find a few books to read for pleasure and to improve my understanding of the condition.

I was going to get a general psychology book but ended up getting two books on depression.

I bought "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Depression," by Michael B. Schachter, M.D. and "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression," by Andrew Solomon. The second book is a 2001 National Book Award Winner and was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It has won 13 other national awards. Besides including a comprehensive knowledge on depression, that is why I decided to buy it to add to my book collection.

Anyway, the reason I bought the first book is because it focuses on how diet can improve depression. Although it has been very difficult for me to change my diet, I'm hoping I can find motivation through this book. It's hard for me to listen to advice from people without seeing more proof in written form, so maybe this is what I need.

According to the section, "Eat Your Way Out of Depression," there are eight foods that people with depression should avoid (and probably people without depression to avoid some of the symptoms):

1) Sugar: It can leave you depressed and tired after the initial energy boost. Sugar has always been hard to cut out of my diet but I've been getting better. I need to eventually limit myself to low-sugar juice and cereal, since those have been my weak points recently.

2) White-flour products: According to the book, these products lack nutritional value. I already get whole-wheat bread but pizza is another story, I suppose. Same with crackers, rolls and bagels. I need to convince myself to eat more Wheat Thins, since there is a line of 100% whole grain Wheat Thins (and Fig Newtons).

3) Alcohol: This is known to be a depressant and can cause sleep problems, according to the book. No problem, since I'm underage. Besides, alcohol contains empty calories.

Add a Comment5 Comments


Such an interesting post. Thank you for writing it! And while I know I eat too much sugar, white flour and fat, this is a big reminder that I could be doing more to alleviate my depression than I am already doing.

It's so hard to cut out the "white foods." How successful have you been? How did you do it?

March 17, 2010 - 8:13am
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you. Will use this as a guide. :)

March 16, 2010 - 5:45am
EmpowHER Guest

I have known Michael B. Schacter through out many years. He treated my closest friend who had stage 4 breat cancer many years ago shortly before she died. The treatment in essence was massive doses of vitimin C through an IV primarily. I do not know what other nutients or vitimins may have been used. She only went approximately 2-3 times. She was from a middle class family of limited means. He charged them $10,000. He would not take any insurance.

He treated me many years before my friend, for depression and anxiety. While he's a pleasant and smart man, and I did exactly as I was told in terms of nutrition, vitimin supplements, and medication it didn't make a significant difference at all. The part that helped was that he cared. But his treatment suggestions didn't do much except to educate me on proper nutrition and the importance of taking vitimin supplements.

I hope he has been more successful with other patients. I highly recommend that one be very circumspect when taking his "advice."

August 5, 2009 - 7:44pm

Dr. Day (overcame Cancer the natural way) recommended not using Fluoride toothpaste. Upon hearing a radio interview of her my husband immediately bought "Tom's" 'natural care of Maine' Peppermint, Spearmint or Fennel flavors are available in Health Section of Walgreen's or Kroger (Southern Stores in TX) Keep in mind dentist will give you "flouride rinse" when you go to get your cleaning. Just tell them you don't want any~and stick to your guns! ; /

July 30, 2009 - 3:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

For my depression & anxiety I take the following:
Valerian Root & 5-HTP - both about an hour before bedtime.

I was on several medications that while alleviating my symptoms caused serious weight gain & made me feel foggy-headed. I weaned & switched to Valerian Root & 5-HTP & haven't needed another med since. That was 2 yrs ago.

July 30, 2009 - 2:07pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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