PHYSICAL HEALTH & MOOD

DIET AND DEPRESSION
foods that can contribute to depression include sugars, refined grains and processed foods
nutrient deficiencies that can contribute to depression include vitamins B6, B12, D, folic acid and iron

SUPPLEMENTS FOR DEPRESSION
– a basic multi-vitamin for B vitamins
– vitamin D up to 2,000 IU/day
– omega 3 fatty acids 1,000 mg/day of EPA + DHA

NUTRITION
– for information and controversies about healthy diets, see here and here
– for potential problems with herbs and supplements, see here and here

LOSING WEIGHT
– the first step in losing weight is to reduce food intake (see here and here)
– the easiest way to lose weight is to reduce sugars, starches (bread, pasta, potatoes) and processed foods
exercise along with increased protein can prevent muscle loss when dieting
– a calculator for BMI and other parameters can be found here
– a free service in Ontario that lets you to speak with a dietician is available here

METABOLIC SYNDROME
– a precursor of diabetes, heart disease and other lifestyle diseases
– includes abdominal obesity plus raised blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol/fats
– metabolic syndrome can be prevented by changing diet, losing weight and increasing activity

CHRONIC ILLNESS
– chronic illness and depression frequently go together and can create a vicious cycle
– educate yourself about the illness and have your medications reviewed on a regular basis
– for information on the risks of modern medicine, see here and here
– for information on the dangers of self-diagnosis, see here and here

MEDICAL SELF-MONITORING
– monitoring devices and apps can give you more control over your health
– examples include metabolic syndrome, borderline diabetes, borderline hypertension
– find a variable that can be easily measured, such as weight, blood glucose, blood pressure
– change one thing at a time using trial and error to find out what changes the variable

EXERCISE
– the benefits of exercise on mood is greater than medication in many cases
– exercise can improve energy level, sleep and mental focus in depression
– see these links for information about the health benefits of running, walking and dancing.
– an easy way to integrate exercise into your daily life is to walk – see here and here

SLEEP
– for information on sleep problems, see here

SUN EXPOSURE
– the benefits of moderate sun exposure far outweigh the risks – see here and here

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
– alcohol and drugs give short-term relief but lead to long-term problems
– continuing to use despite negative consequences on work, relationships and health indicates a problem
– if you are not ready to quit, try using Moderation Management (see here and here)
– for information on addictions and relapse prevention, see here and here