Using A Plant Based Diet For Mental Health

This is a very touchy subject that must be dealt with in a delicate manner. Mental health is real and is often downplayed. Not sure if its the stigma attached to it, but it’s often overlooked when we discuss health. To have dis-ease of the mind is to also have dis-ease of the body and soul. When I was going to school for Social Work I completed an internship at a crisis intervention center. Though we did work with civilian clients, I would dare to say that 65% of our clients were veterans and ex-service members.

This is jumping off subject but so many people were trying to flip the narrative of the NFL protest and say the players are disrespecting the military servicemen. You know very well it was about unarmed black men being shot by police. The people that make these claims are so fake and phony and prove that patriotism is indeed the last act of the scoundrel. I worked with the vets so I know what I’m talking about. If people truly cared about veterans like they claim then we wouldn’t have countless veterans homeless and sleeping under bridges every night. If you really cared about  veterans they would not have to push there way into soup kitchens everyday. If you cared about veterans, then you patriots would be advocating to the government to provide greater access to benefits for veterans and expedient and thorough health care from the VA Hospital. You would be offering your free time and resources to these organizations that often struggle financially to provide the resources they offer to help the veterans. This of course is not everyone but the vast majority of you fake patriots are using patriotism as a buffer for your hatred of black people.

Now back to the point. While in school and working at the crisis center I noticed a common theme between the treatment given to those with personality disorders, mood disorders, trauma and stress related disorders, and opiate addiction. There was a lack of focus on getting to the source of the problem and an increase of prescribing pharmaceutical drugs. Psychotropic drugs, methadone, and suboxone became the number one solution. This is the result of numerous things but constant budget cuts from the federal government for mental health plays a huge roll.

I would have discussions with veterans that spoke of the intervention given by Veteran’s Affairs for mental health. The definition of intervention for the VA Hospital was to use the stroke of a pen to prescribe psychotropic drugs and have the vets walk around like zombies. I could not understand the rationale of turning human beings into a killing machine, sending them into bloody conflicts that probably looked like hell on Earth, debrief them for a week or two, and then expect them to just be normal again. That’s very idiotic in my opinion.

I also wrestled with the ethical and moral dilemma of prescribing methadone and suboxone to those with an opioid addiction. Most of the individuals were not even going through any form of therapeutic measures outside of the pharmaceuticals. They go to the suboxone clinic and get their prescription filled along with other crap like diet pills and B12 shots. You are essentially eliminating one addiction for another without any treatments that get to the root cause.

I was nowhere near being health conscious at this time but I was always interested in holistic medicine for mental health. I understand that sometimes psychotropic drugs and traditional treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy are useful. However, I do lean more towards the holistic approach to mental health. Treatments such as accupuncture, yoga, magnesium supplements, biofeedback, kava, reflexology, homeopathy, ayurveda, meditation, and prayer are under the holistic umbrella.

I also realize that you can’t eat everything away but there is research that suggest eating more plants helps with mental health which falls under the holistic umbrella. According to Dr. Edward Group of the Global Healing Center, says that the Standard American Diet (SAD) lacks many of the essential nutrients to support optimal mental health. Dr. Edward Group provides a list of nutrients needed for brain health:

  • Amino Acids
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Sodium and Potassium
  • Omega 3
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

Fortunately we can get these nutrients from eating more of a plant based diet. These are some of the plants that include these nutrients.

  • Avocado
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Coconout Oil
  • Olive oil
  • Turmeric
  • Rosemary
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Flax seed
  • Sauerkraut
  • Berries
  • Almond milk

I know that its not the end all be all, but I do find it amazing that an imbalanced diet plays a role in mental health. If you eat good then you feel good. The mind and body must be at a state of nutritional homeostasis for it to reach a point that it can heal itself. Hopefully this is something that mental practitioners will explore.




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