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Eat Your Way to Mental Health
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
Tenafly, NJ
Monday, July 13, 2020

Dr. Patricia A. Farrell

Diets are on people's minds, probably more now than ever because of COVID19 and our having to remain less active and indoors. But one thing about which we can do something related to diet that will work on our behalf is the foods we eat.

Many of us will order food delivery and much of this food will be fast food, high in carbohydrates and fat. It's not good for us and it won't help our mood. The thing to do now is to work toward helping raise your mood, and one way is to check the foods in your diet. Think of diet not as a way of controlling weight, but one of controlling your mood and maintaining your physical health.

Over the past decade, researchers have been looking with interest at how diet might play an active role in our physical and mental health. One area, in particular, depression is of special interest when we consider that 17.3 million Americans will have at least one episode of major depression during their lifetime.

Sixty-four percent of those with major depression will suffer major impairment in their lives, their careers and their educational attainments. Depression is serious, it's prevalent, and it is potentially associated with something we never think about; our gut.

Investigating pharmaceutical sources to ease depression led to the creation of medications strictly aimed at one hormone responsible for depression, serotonin. Where are all the serotonin receptors to which the medications will attach themselves? They're not in our brains, they're in our intestinal tract, and that's where the magic may happen. Now, depression may be addressed not solely with medications, but food, too.

The research is so convincing that there's a new subspecialty of psychiatry, Nutritional Psychiatry, that includes foods and diet as a treatment add-on. These foods work in often mysterious ways to aid our body's biome, the naturally occurring bacteria balancing our immune system to protect us.

Undoubtedly, medications and psychotherapy and exercise will all be part of working toward the alleviation of depression. But now we must also look at the foods we eat and determine which will act in beneficial ways to curb depression and illness.

One diet we know that works well is the Mediterranean Diet. What are the ingredients that aid in health? Most of us know that olive oil is a staple, but more than that, researchers rated oysters and mussels, various seafood, and organ meats as important. The other foods that they believe are most important are plant-based leafy greens, lettuces, peppers, and cruciferous vegetables. 

The dawn of a fresh approach, a more natural one, to dealing with mental health symptoms is here. We have been hearing that self-help is important and here's an area where what you buy in the grocery, stock in your cupboards, and cook in your kitchen may be as important as taking supplements or, sometimes, medications.

Can diet cure all mental challenges? Food isn't the cure-all, but it's a way to think about how what we eat ultimately may help determine how we feel.


Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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