Weight gain and depression usually go hand in hand, but which one comes first? Are you overweight because you’re depressed, or are you depressed because you’re overweight? Health experts are not really sure.
However, Dr. Andrew Saul in the documentary Food Matters says “if you’re malnourished, you should be depressed.” Andrew believes that people who are depressed are nutrient deficient. For people who are really depressed–psychotic, schizophrenic–it could be a nutrient dependency. In other words, people who are seriously depressed need a lot more nutrients than others.
The best way to lose weight and fight depression may be a lot easier than you think. Many health experts believe the cure for depression and weight gain could be as simple as changing your diet and taking a few vitamin supplements.
Diet, Depression, and Niacin
Saul believes if you’re overweight and depressed, and you change your diet to a mostly raw, whole foods plant based diet with niacin supplements, (niacin converts to tryptophan in the body) chances are within a month, you should notice a great improvement in your weight and mood. Saul suggests taking 250 to 500 mgs of niacin daily and vitamin C.
When you begin taking niacin, it’s best to start out taking 25 mg three times a day after meals and increase the dosage until you feel a slight niacin flush. A niacin flush causes your arms, cheeks, ears and neck to turn pink. You may also feel a little warm and tingly.
A niacin flush is not dangerous, but it can be uncomfortable. So it’s best to work up the dosage slowly until you feel a slight niacin flush. After taking 25 mg of niacin the first day with meals, the next day take 50 mgs after the first meal and 25 mgs at the second and third meal. Continue increasing the dosage with each meal until you feel a slight niacin flush.
Each person needs a different levels of niacin. In general the longer it takes to have a slight flush as you increase the dosage, the more niacin your body needs. Avoid taking so much niacin that you feel nauseas or you feel like vomiting.
Diet and Depression
If you’re overweight and depressed, you’re likely consuming too many sugary, too many processed foods and too much fat. These foods do not have many nutrients, so while your stomach may signal your brain it’s full, your body still craves nutrients. The cravings for nutrients, will of course make you want to eat more, but if you continue eating food that is loaded with sugar, processed and lacking nutrients, you’re probably going to gain more weight and going to become more depressed from a lack of nutrients.
To lose weight and relieve depression, eat a diet that consists of mostly fresh, organic vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Eat a few servings of nuts each day. While you can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you like, it’s important not to go overboard with nuts and oils if you want to lose weight. According to Saul, two handfuls of cashews contain an equivalent therapeutic dose of prozac. There is a lot of tryptophan in nuts, especially cashews. It’s probably best to eat raw, organic cashews.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
It’s common knowledge that regular exercise is also an important factor to losing weight and relieving depression. One way to begin is just going for a walk for 20 to 30 minutes a day.
Conventional Doctors, Depression and Weight Gain
If you’re depressed, you need to be under the care and supervision of a qualified doctor. If you’re overweight, you need to be under the care and supervision of a doctor.
Talk with your doctor first about changing your diet to a whole foods, plant based diet and taking niacin supplements.
Dr. Andrew Saul and Niacin for Depression
Forks Over Knives Diet Excerpts from Movie – Benefits from Whole Foods, Plant Based Diet