Transition and mental health - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-02-2017, 07:29 AM
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Transition and mental health

Hey guys,

I am conducting research on how a meat free diet can have a positive effect on children who suffer with mental illness.

What are the benefits/ negative effects of having a raw food diet for a child?
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#2 Old 05-03-2017, 04:49 AM
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I'd be concerned about vitamin B12 deficiency, which is common among vegetarians. This vitamin is essential for brain health and it is mostly found in meats.
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#3 Old 05-03-2017, 07:58 AM
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From what I know, there isn't any strong connection or obvious reason why removing meat from one's diet will significantly change mental health for most people.

Some individuals do report experiencing changes - positive or negative. These are certainly beyond my expertise to explain and may be a variety of reasons, and even may be difficult for anyone to explain.

How positively you feel about something could effect your mental health. If you feel extremely confident that going vegan will improve your mental health then it might because of some placebo effect or the power of positive thinking.

It seems to be that the decision to go vegan is based especially on ethical arguments and to a lesser extent on environmental and health arguments.

It is also possible that there is a strong connection between veganism and mental health that has simply not yet been demonstrated. However, my guess is no.

Keep in mind I have no particular expertise on veganism, and know very little about mental health. This is just some common sense thoughts based on what I read about mainly.

Raw I know even less about.
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#4 Old 05-03-2017, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Curry View Post
I'd be concerned about vitamin B12 deficiency, which is common among vegetarians. This vitamin is essential for brain health and it is mostly found in meats.
B12 is easily, and cheaply, found wherever supplements are sold. It's always vegan in my experience, though check anyway.
B12 is also added to many foods- one cup of most non dairy milks have half a days RDA. Many cereals, processed vegan foods, nutritional yeast...
I do recommend taking a sublingual B12 just because while it takes a little B12 if consumed every day, you need much more if every other, twice weekly or once weekly

There is growing evidence that meat eaters are becoming just, if not more at risk than the vegan population. Meat will only have B12 if the animal is fed B12--now mainly through supplementation. It's pretty well known that B12 is the one vitamin vegans need outside of whole plant foods.

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#5 Old 05-03-2017, 07:32 PM
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My b12 levels tested at 691 pg/mL (normal range 200-1000) at 5 years vegan by just supplementing 500 mcgs of B12 drops twice a week. I also eat an occasional fortified vegan yogurt, energy bar, plant milk, plant protein powder, or nutritional yeast, but not every day or even every week. I also did three years of college and also earned two medical coding certifications (RHIT and CPC) all as a vegan. Not only passed those exams but nailed them (93% on RHIT and 88% on CPC).

For those who consume dairy or eggs, there is also b12 in some yogurts and eggs, though a small amount.

I have suffered with various mental illness most of my life....avoidant personality disorder, anxiety and social anxiety, major depressive episodes (with hospitalizations and halfway houses years ago), anorexia nervosa for six years. Being vegan has not worsened or improved any of these conditions. Veganism indirectly helped my social anxiety and avoidance because i was so passionate about animal rights that I went out and leafleted six colleges and high schools and also tabled at a private college all on my own. I participated in a Farm Sanctuary Walk for Animals event, and did some other forms of activism. Though it was hard, it gave me confidence and helped me overcome fears. It also helped immensely get me outside of my own head and obsessive eating disordered thoughts and I did most of my activism when I was in a period of recovery from my eating disorder and putting on weight. It was a very very hard time, but activism in a way saved me. If I could do those things, heck, anything is possible lol. So in that way veganism has improved my mental health. However, it can also be a challenge in social situations that involve food as someone with a long history of an eating disorder because it can further isolate me from social situations around food, especially at work. They love my food at potlucks and that's been a good experience, but sometimes we have staff meetings in conference rooms up to six hours and meals are "provided" which means there will not be anything vegan. So I bring my own food, but it means I stand out a lot because i am eating something different than everyone else. I am VERY self conscious about eating, so this is a huge challenge, but it is more important to me to remain vegan and stand up for my beliefs and live them than fit in for the sake of not drawing attention to myself.

My sister has paranoid schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. She was vegan for two years but is now mostly vegetarian. Veganism did help her lose a tremendous amount of weight, and she cooked more for herself and was healthier. But it didn't improve or change her mental illness.

In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel

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