RVegan & Depression
I have a cousin who has hit a difficult time in her life.
Her GP has diagnosed depression.
She eats a vegetarian diet. (Lots of juices, fruits and salads.)
She normally exercises regularly and looks after herself.
The cause of the depression will be ongoing and she feels that the only way to deal with her situation is to change the way she reacts to her circumstances.
She is not keen to take the drugs on offer and has started to think about alternatives. We have discussed introducing more raw to see if this can help.
She is finding it difficult to get started as its hard to make decisions or plan things whilst in such emotional turmoil.
I am keen support her
I have suggested green smoothies and increasing green juices.
I have made a few dehydrated goodies which she liked.
At this early stage, are there any foods that you could recommend that may lift and encourage her to eat more raw?
I also ask for feedback on any experiences that you may feel you could share on the effects of a raw vegan diet on depression so that i can pass it on to her.
I'm sorry she's going through a difficult time.
Eating lots of essential fatty acids would help.
The important Fatty Acids are:
Omega 3 ALA which the body converts to EPA then to DHA.
Omega 6 LA which the body converts to GLA then to AA.
ALA is found in flax seed, walnuts, and flax oil. The best source is flax oil. A Nobel Prize winner discovered that it has to bound with sulfur-containing-amino acids to be absorbed properly, and a Dr called Hulda Clarke used 4-6 tablespoons flax oil blended into a cup of cottage cheese, daily, to cure diseases such as cancer. It would certainly help with depression. The raw alternative to cottage cheese is cheese made from kefir made from raw milk. I don't take either because I'm vegan. The vegan substitute is soft tofu but nobody knows whether this is effective. Unfortunately nobodys worked out a raw vegan substitute. Sometimes I take flax oil by itself every day, and don't feel any different. However if I take hemp oil every day, which contains a little omega 3 but mostly omega 6, I do notice an improvement in my eyes, skin, memory, brain function and mood.
If you take ALA with Lauric Acid, which is found in coconut oil and coconut cream, then it increases the conversion of ALA to EPA, to 10%. So 16g ALA from 2tbs flax oil = 1.6g EPA.
DHA is the one that is supposed to influence mood. It's found in oily fish which we can't have. Flax Oil doesn't seem to influence DHA levels, but fortunately you can obtain it from golden algae oil. Research has shown this is more effective than fish oils.
Omega 6 is found in nuts, seeds, hemp oil, starflower (borage) oil, evening primrose oil.
The ratio of omega 3 and 6 is important. So while she needs to get healthy raw omega 6 fats from the above, she should also try to cut down on omega 6 from other sources, especially from cooking oils and margerine. Coconut oil remains stable at high temperatures, doesn't contain omega 6 and actually increases absorption of omega 3, so if she stopped cooking with anything other than coconut oil that would make a huge difference. She could use coconut oil as a spread instead of margerine or butter. She could use coconut cream instead of cream.
Keeping cooked dairy and eggs to a minimum would reduce her bad-omega 6 level. If she is going to continue eating eggs and dairy, perhaps she could eat them raw? It would make a huge difference. Heating fats creates toxic substances, and the EFAs become useless. When they're raw they're not harmful.
Omega 9 is found in avocados, olives, macademia nuts and hemp seeds.
Lauric Acid, found in coconuts and human milk, is a wonder-drug. It's so good for you and your brain.
Cholesterol when raw is actually good for you and has a big influence on mood. When heated it becomes toxic. So again if your friend could eat her eggs and dairy raw, it would really improve her condition. Eating cooked eggs and dairy will make her feel worse.
There are no vegan sources of cholesterol, but eating coconut makes your body produce more of it.
As for other raw foods, banana's really balance my blood sugar levels and therefore influence my mood. If eat at least 4 bananas a day I feel happy. If I don't have any, then the other fruit I eat sends my sugar levels haywire.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants which protect the brain. They've been shown to prevent alzheimers. Every day I eat 150g blueberries blended with 1 avocado and 2 bananas and it makes me feel really good.
The more avocados I eat, the happier I am.
I suggest adding dulse to the salad in case she is short on some minerals.
Do pecans contain ALA? They're in the walnut family.
I would try fruit and vegetable juices. I find they always boost my mood.
They allow for a quick and easy absorbtion of nutrients.
Also it might be helpful to fast, even if it is only for one day.
And drink lots of pure water.
Don't forget the sunshine!!!! So crucial!
The best six doctors anywhere And no one can deny it Are sunshine, water, rest, and air Exercise and diet.These six will gladly you attend If only you are willing Your mind they'll ease Your will they'll mend And charge you not a shilling.
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990 :cool:
Thanks for your replies.
Bobbie, thanks for taking the time to detail all those useful tips.
Pierrre, adding the duse is a good idea
VeryBerry, i agree with the juices, the energy boost /mood lifting effect is almost instant for me.
Romanticsnet- sunshine! simple and true
Thanks again I will pass your comments on.
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