Prozac vs. Whole Foods to Improve Your Mood

Via Heather Lounsbury
on Dec 10, 2010
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Feeling stressed out lately?  Finals got you down?  Do the holidays make you miserable? You might want to think about adding some vitamins and improving your diet.  Some of you reading this might be thinking “I can just take a pill for my problems.” I hear a lot of my patients think that taking medication long term is completely safe.

Well guess again.

Side effects of anti depressants may include: abnormal dreams, impaired vision, anxiety, chest pain, chills, confusion, diarrhea, diminished sex drive, dizziness, dry mouth, gas, headache, hives, impotence, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, rash, seizures, fatigue, sore throat, sweating, vomiting, & muscle weakness.

Simple ways to help cope

Folic acid (brown, red & wild rice, beans, oranges, dark greens) and B12 (sea vegetables, Brewer’s yeast, miso, and fortified foods) People with B deficiencies are more likely to have severe depression.  Take 800 mcg of folic acid and 1 mg of B12 per day.

Magnesium (wheat and oat bran, brown rice, nuts, molasses) Supports brain function and helpful for mood disorders, including PMS and bipolar disorder.  Take 300 mg of magnesium per day.

Omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, borage oil, primrose oil, oily fish,) Build healthy brain cell membranes and help facilitate neuron-to-neuron communication.  Take a supplement that includes a total of 650 mg EPA and DHA daily.

Chromium (broccoli, grapes, oranges, grains) Lessens depression, particularly in people who are also craving sugar. Chromium is a blood sugar stabilizer for all you sugar addicts out there.  Take 300 mcg of chromium per day.

Zinc (beans, nuts, oatmeal) Helps metabolize omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. Low zinc levels are often found in those suffering from postpartum depression.  Take 25 mg zinc per day.

So, if you’re having a hard time, please use the above information to at least get started. I hope this information helps lift your spirits!

Live natural.  Live well.



About Heather Lounsbury

Heather Lounsbury, L.Ac. is an acupuncturist, nutritionist, environmental activist and radio host. One of her goals is to put fast food and greenwashers out of business. She's available for phone consultations. Find her at


4 Responses to “Prozac vs. Whole Foods to Improve Your Mood”

  1. Lela says:

    just the info i needed! thanks!

  2. *K* says:

    I recently added a vitamin d supplement and 500 mg of niacin per day on top of my regular whole-food-based multivitamin, and the effect on my anxiety/motivation/fatigue levels has been astounding. I have a very stressful job and the end of the year is very hectic for me…b vitamins are so important! I had no idea until I actually tried it what an effect they can have on mood and energy levels.

  3. AlpineLily says:

    So is the author saying that as someone with depression I should just take a vitamin and "feel better"? Does she ever understand what depression actually is and how it affect someone?
    Please do not dispense this information to anyone else. A…re you going to tell a mother with post-partum that she should just eat better and that it should go away?
    Do she even understand that she is minimizing how devastating depression is on a daily basis by acting like it's just a simple change in diet that will cure the problem?
    Additionally, before you blame ALL those side-effects purely on the medication please educate yourself on the fact that abnormal dreams, impaired vision, anxiety, chest pain, confusion, diarrhea, diminished sex drive, dizziness, headache, i…mpotence, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness and fatigue are also actual SYMPTOMS of depression!

    Honestly, I think it is not the place of elephant to publish articles like this, you are playing a dangerous game by dispensing "medical advice" from an author who is not qualified to speak beyond her own training, just as I would not accept advice on acupuncture from a doctor who is not trained in it!


  4. liz says:

    What's dangerous about the post is that it's conflating people who don't need psych meds (e.g. who have normal feelings of being stressed or down) with people with serious psychiatric disorders, who often do need psych meds. Please be very clear in distinguishing these two groups. The diet advice is good, certainly diet is a huge part of managing my illness, as is exercise, yoga and meditation. For everyone, this should be a first line in mood management. I also happen to have bipolar disorder, so for me, this is not enough, I need medication too. For years I bought into the myth that if I lived "healthily enough" I could manage without medication. The result of my untreated illness was my episodes got worse over time until they spiraled out of control and I almost lost my life.