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Can Diet Disable Depression? #NYR16

Is it too simple and unrealistic to believe that simple dietary changes can disable Depression or is it a viable treatment option?


Listen to my latest audio to find out

Listen to Can Diet Disable Depression NOW below


Radio Show Transcript:

“If you were on social media during mental health awareness week which was 8-14th May in the UK and more recently from 1-8th October in the US, you probably saw how many people came out to say they’d suffered from it at some point in their lives and still do, including many celebrities,


Prince harry and prince William even started a charity called heads together, where they shared the mental health challenges and level of depression they experience when their mother prices Diana died when they were younger


Mental health challenges aren’t resigned to just any particular race, class, country or gender,


But the more pursue my goal of helping my My 100K sistas and find out what challenges we have specifically, they more apparent it is that we’re disproportionate effected by certain health challenges and depression is one of them


Black women are twice as likely to become depressed and access mental health care than any other race or demographic in the UK and US


As well as the regular stresses of life


Black women have noted things like:


social pressure to conform,


racial inequalities,


pay inequalities,


beauty & fashion industry standards to conform to


and not feeling able to express themselves without judgement,


as being some of the reason that stress and anxiety build up in them,


leading to mild, then moderate then severe depression



Depression is much more than just being sad, it’s not easy to just get over it,


It’s complex in the way that it develops, presents itself and in how you manage and eventually recover from it.


The traditional way of thinking was that depression was a neurological imbalance, brain chemistry gone wrong basically and drugs cold be used to alter the imbalances that caused us to have depressive episodes or rid us of the symptoms of depression by basically chilling us out,


Depressive episode could last hours, or days or weeks or even years and it’s often the case that initially high levels of drugs are given, then a maintenance does is set for the long term.


But as the great Dr Malachi Z York said “pain the body is like the warning light on the control panel of a car, taking this or that drug or medication is like taking a hammer and smashing the light, it does nothing to address the cause, it just gets rid of the symptom”


Whilst there’s often no physical pain associated with depression, the mental and emotion discomfort can become literally unbearable to live with, which leads sufferers to want to numb themselves with drugs, alcohol, sugar, painkiller and prescribed pharmaceuticals.



Among the black community, depression often goes undiagnosed, between 30-80%


Shame – what people will think of them

Hopelessness – no one can help me anyway, what’s the point

Fear – what will happen to me if people think I’m crazy, some mothers even fear that being diagnosed with a mental heath challenge, will result in them having their children taken from them, instead of being supported through their health challenges.


As we don’t like to seem weak and admit to having problems, especially black women, who are afraid they’ll be labelled crazy black women and


The unfortunate situation we face is that there is FAR less stigma around physical illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer than mental lh health issues like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.



Depression is more typically thought of as strictly biochemical-based or emotionally-rooted.


On the contrary, nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as severity and duration of depression.


Eating patterns that are present before the depression kicks in, remain during a depressive episode too, like poor appetite, skipping meals, and strong sweet cravings


More research is coming out showing the huge link between nutritional deficiencies and stimulants and human cognition, behaviour, and emotions.


One of my favourite books on the topic of children nutrition is Crazy makers by Carol Simontacchi  where the authors make clear links between a child’s diet and nutrition or lack of and their moods, behaviour, cognition (ability to think and work things out) and subsequently their grades, educational progression, self worth and achievements and all that naturally leads to their mental health as adults.


There was even evidence showing that children who had poor diets in the early teens were 30% more likely to be convicted of violent crimes in their 30’s


So whilst the factors that cause, contribute and maintain depression are vast, I think the too little attention is given to the role diet and nutrition play in preventing and disabling it.


Depression, like many other conditions, like cancer, diabetes and heart disease are thought to be so extreme that simply changing your diet isn’t going to have any effect, but that’s simply not true.


Our whole bodies are made of nutrients, including our brain and it’s ability to function effectively. A malnourished, dehydrated, tired brain will struggle to be able to process thoughts, problem solve and even stay calm and rational during stressful times.


Being in this state over a long periods of time can literally impair your brains ability to function, which has a huge impact on your mental, emotional and physical well being.


Hydrating, nourishing, resting and training the brain to handle stressful and challenging situations over a period of time, has been shown to have a significant impact of recovery from depressive episode. And whilst some people say that once you have depression, it never really goes away, there are some people who been diagnosed as being clinically depressed and have been in complete remission for over a decade by just nourishing, hydrating and re programming their brains.


Some of the nutritional deficiencies that have been found in those diagnosed with depression most often are


Vitamins especially B complex, which can be found in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, eggs, fish, mushrooms


Omega 3 fatty acids again fish, seaweed like irish moss and chia seeds


Adequate protein

And neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonine and GABA, which can be synthesised by taking amino acids like tryptophan and tyrosine


All of these nutrients are seriously lacking in our globalised industrial diet and abundant in the diets of our ancestors who rarely suffered from these conditions.


See being sad is part of the human experience, becoming depressed for a period of time is even part of the human experience, and the ability to pull yourself out of it is a way of strengthening your mental and emotional body, in the same way you boost your immunity to disease by experiencing it and building up natural resistance to it.


It’s when we have a nutrient dead diet and are never taught self worth and emotional intelligence that we fall so deeply into depressive states that we feel there’s no way out and doctors are trained to talk to you for a minute before medicating you.


Not everything needs medicating, including depression and mental health challenges, getting rid of the symptoms isn’t the answer, and should be the only course of action


And family we need to find another way because the probability of being sectioned or committing suicide increases drastically the longer you remain in a depressive state and what’s even worse is that the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) which are prescribed to those experiencing mental health challenges has suicidal thoughts and actions as one of it’s side effects, especially for young adults under 25,


So can diet disable depression?

I learnt a long time ago that focusing on only one area of health when dealing with our holistic health is a flawed model, but I would say this

Diet can help to disable depression when used in conjunction with emotional intelligence, personal development and complementary therapies.


I would seriously urge any anyone who is experiencing mental health challenges to seek holistic nutritional help immediately and at the very least commit to getting support from a holistic nutritionist and life coach alongside any medication you choose to take.


There will be far fewer (if any) side effects from nutritional therapies and holistic practices and most importantly, there’ll be a positive impact on your whole body and by nourishing your brain rather than just artificially interfering with your brain chemistry, you’ll in a better position to do the work of understanding your responses and finding healthier ways to manage your emotions, life challenges and anything else that triggers depressive episodes.


I hope you find this useful


Please share with anyone you think could benefit from it and stay tuned for more videos, articles and podcasts to help you eat for health, think for happiness and live in harmony or what I call becoming naturally you


You can find me at

If you need one to one help and support, feel free to get in touch to book a free session with me to discuss how you can get you to your life and health goals naturally.


I look forward to hearing from you soon


My name’s Leah Salmon The Naturally You Coach

Take care & stay healthy”


Listen, enjoy and if you have any other advice for our sisters suffering with mental health challenges, please post them below


Take care and stay healthy


The Naturally You Coach

About the Author: Leah Salmon, The Naturally You Coach, is a bestselling author, speaker, nutritionist, live blood analyst and life coach, focused on womb & pregnancy health and premature birth prevention & on a mission to help 100,000 black women to eat for health, think for happiness and live in harmony by 2020 or what she calls Becoming Naturally You. She does this through her clinic, books, programs, coaching, events, workshops, videos, articles and a free weekly ezine.

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