My Name Is Garry….And I’m a Junkfoodaholic

A wise looking man made the following statement that had a profound effect on me, I remember it clear as day. The comment he made was “once you pop, you can’t stop!”

He was right to an extent however I soon proved him wrong as I did manage to stop! Once the last pringle hit my stomach that is, so I suppose technically he wins on a TKO!

And so on this momentous day I am ready to take the first step as I sit in the front room of my flat with a pint of pepsi max (other soft drinks are available!) half eaten packet of cookies, empty crisp packets and a mars bar wrapper and say amongst friends and family

MY NAME IS GARRY AND I’M A JUNKFOODAHOLIC

That felt good!

I mean don’t get me wrong it’s not part of some grand idea to change my diet, after all I may not suffer from denial but I am not a miracle worker!

 BUT and this is a big BUT so big in fact it makes Kim Khardashian look like Nancy NoButt

Does our diet play a part in our depression?

Sadly (in my case anyways) it appears to be the case that junk food in particular can play a role in depression due to the, for want of a better word, crap that is contained in it!

I did a google search on foods to avoid when depressed http://www.findthelight.net/nat_depression.htm had the best information for me to “digest” but the reading is depressing for someone like me who simply does not eat 90% of the foods recommended to eat to aid depression.

Nutritional Causes of Depression

Frequent consumption of caffeine or sucrose (table sugar)

B vitamins deficiencies (biotin, folic acid, thiamine, B6, B2, or B12)

Deficiencies of vitamin C

Mineral deficiencies including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium or potassium

Excesses of magnesium or vanadium

Food allergies or sensitivities

Preservatives, dyes, additives and heavily processed foods

Foods to AVOID When Depressed

Refined and simple sugar (white sugar, honey, fructose, maple syrup, etc). These deplete your body of B vitamins. They also increase hypoglycemia linked to mood swings and depression.

Heavily processed foods with additives and preservatives – These foods deplete the nutrients needed for metabolism.

Foods high in saturated fats – These fats cause poor circulation to the brain, inhibiting the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Very high protein diets – Excess protein tends to decrease brain uptake of tryptophan, a very important amino acid. (However protein is important in the diet, especially for those with depression. The diets referred to here are those that are very high in protein above all else.)

Foods which you are sensitive or allergic to –These foods can be rotated in and out of the diet or eliminated all together.

Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol –Eliminate them all together if possible.

Simple Carbohydrates – Breads, pasta and other foods high in carbohydrates can lead to fatigue.

Aspartame, Nutrasweet and all artificial sweetners – Nutrasweet increases Central Nervous System tyrosine and phenylalanine, decreasing tryptophan availability. This leads to an increase in serotonin levels.     

This accounts for my diet LOL so we now know I am not helping myself with my food and here I was happily “comfort” eating all the crap which makes me worse! Thanks a lot mr “once you pop”!!

So what should I be eating well the list here makes for depressive reading!

Foods to EAT When Depressed

Foods high in B1. B1 is essential for energy production, nerve cell function and carbohydrate metabolism. Good sources of B1 include soybeans, brown rice, sunflower seeds, wholes wheat and Brewer’s yeast.

Foods high in B6 – B6 is important in maintaining hormone balance, immune function and is involved in the formation and use of neurotransmitters. Good sources of B6 include Brewer’s yeast, whole grains, legumes, bananas, seeds, nuts, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cauliflowers.

Foods high in Folate and B12 – Folate & B12 deficiency tend to decrease SAMe levels which is associated with depression. Good sources of folate and B12 include Brewer’s yeast, green leafy vegetables, low fat dairy and whole grains. Supplementation with folate and B12 can also increase serotonin levels.

Foods high in Vitamin C – Vitamin C increases immune functions and is important to the production of neurotransmitter production. Good sources of Vitamin C can be found in kale, parsley, collard greens, turnips, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red chili peppers, mustard greens, fresh fruits including kiwi, strawberries and citrus of all kinds.

Foods high in Amino Acids –Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Tyrosine is a precursor to norepinephine and may stimulate thyroid hormone synthesis. Good sources of foods rich in amino acids include eggs, low fat dairy and meats. Choose organic and minimally processed.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)– Numerous studies have found that low levels of essential fatty acids can lead to depression. Good sources of EFA’s include flax seed oil, borage seed oil, pumpkin seeds and cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, cod and sardines. Supplementation can also be helpful. Choose a supplement with EPA, DHA,GLA and Vitamin E (a natural preservative) Refrigerate to decrease chances of spoilage.

Other helpful foods – Garlic, Lecithin (good “brain” food), beans, pods, raw fruits and vegetables and tofu (if not sensitive to it).

I love the internet I really do but sometimes I wish I wasn’t so eager to research! My motto of “ignorance is bliss” needs to be adhered to some things are better off not knowing well I suppose I could follow the advice and change my diet HA HA!

Between you and me there is more chance of me waking up tomorrow morning with the winning lottery ticket in my pocket than there is of me changing my diet! But there is some room for adjustment I suppose it will take a lot of baby steps though to change my dietary habits of a lifetime.

Maybe I will start with the removal of Pepsi max as it’s the only thing besides tea that I drink, this explains the kidney stones LOL.

So there it is today’s “food for thought” discussion to think about!

I am now off to find the mythical Pringle’s man and kick him until he pops!

Garry