A highly processed, overly sweet diet does not cause depression, according to numerous studies on diet and depression. But rather protection for the brain cells from damage might be cumulative due to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and the antioxidants in the fruits and vegetables. For example, the folic acid in green, leafy vegetables offers a protective effect for the brain. The question is whether a change in diet to fish, vegetables, and fruits help your depressed child?
According to a study, “Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age,” published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, also reported in the January 31, 2010 issue of Parade magazine’s article by Dr. Ranit Mishori, “Can Diet Affect Depression?” those regularly eating fish, fruit, and vegetables reduce their chances of experiencing depression.
Some children feel happier after they’ve switched to mostly fish, colorful vegetables, and fruit diet, with more vegetables than fish, especially green vegetable juices and smoothies, and salads of spinach, romaine lettuce, cucumber, parsley, and tomato — instead of a diet of burgers and fries, pasta salads, deep-fried foods, and cookies, chips, and cake.
A half cup of blueberries and dark cherries daily with almond milk also could be part of the diet change. Can such a diet help kids come out of a depression and reduced their panic disorder simply by eating fish for breakfast, a salad for lunch mostly of green vegetables, and smaller amounts of whole grains (quinoa, amaranth, tiff, millet, oat groats or brown rice), if they’re not sensitive to grains? That’s between you and your child’s health care team. But you might discuss it with those experts who supervise your child’s depression.
Some kids do well eatinge fish or fish and eggs (or egg whites) for breakfast to prevent a high spike in blood sugar, beans, legumes, and whole grains such as gluten-free quinoa. Kids who tolerate grains might taste whole oat groats or quinoa at lunch time, and soup or stews at dinnertime.
You could observe of whether your child’s depression and chronic anxiety gradually lessen when the child stops eating excess sweets and saturated animal fats from the burgers the child might down when depressed. By substituting wild-caught salmon for burgers and fries, can your child’s depression lift and the kid’s weight normalize during a two-year period?
For some children, what helped might have been a dessert of mixed nuts and sesame seeds, unsalted, blended in a dry grinder (Vita-Mix) to a meal consistency, and sprinkled over a type of Waldorf salad of chopped red apples, red cabbage, and arugula or spinach with plenty of chopped red cabbage tossed in. Basically the diet consisted of whole foods. Instead of coffee, green tea (decaf) and carrot juice or ginger tea. Other kids can’t have nuts because of allergies.
In the research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry study, scientists and London’s University College studied diets of 3,500 persons and assessed them for depression five years later. The conclusion of the study examined the “protective effects” of whole-food diets.
The most depression was experienced by people on diets consisting of processed foods, sweetened desserts, fried foods, refined cereals, and high-fat dairy products. Interestingly, this type of diet is not limited to Europe. The study found connections between diet and depression. Scientists are looking at whole foods that might offer protective effects on the brain.
You might talk with your child and your child’s health care providers to see whether a change in diet may help. But find out first whether your child’s health care team has been trained in nutrition and is familiar with the response of dietary changes to your child’s condition.