Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, says Lindsay Holmes for the Huffington Post. One in four adults in the United States today experience a mental health disorder, and the related costs of untreated mental illness due to unemployment, disability and substance abuse is $100,000,000,000.
Holmes revealed that a shocking 30% of college students reported feeling so depressed at school that it impacted their ability to function. Another 7.5% of college students say they’ve considered suicide in the last 12 months.
Veterans are another group heavily impacted by depression with 22 dying by suicide each day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. And more than 20% of mothers polled in a BabyCenter survey said that they had been diagnosed with postpartum depression, and 40% of those did not seek medical treatment.
Of the people who commit suicide, studies show that 90% of them also had a mental health disorder.
Certainly, mental health is a major concern in this country and around the world, and I should preface this to say that I’m not a medical professional, nor do I make light that a simple dietary change could improve the mental health of many individuals. However, new evidence has revealed that the inclusion of red meat in the diet could have a significant impact on our moods, and beef has the potential to alleviate symptoms of depression.
According to Kelly Brogan, MD, author of “A Mind Of Your Own,” in a blog post titled, “Red meat for your depression,” prescribing a diet rich in animal fats and proteins has greatly helped some of her female patients struggling with depression and other health concerns.
Brogan shares a positive review from a client who said, “It’s been a little over three weeks since we last met, and I wanted to send you an update. I started eating red meat daily to address the reactive hypoglycemia. I am feeling so much better! I am a lot less hungry, can fall asleep more easily and stay asleep! (I can’t believe this works.)”
Brogan said this patient reluctantly incorporated more red meat into her diet only to be surprised by the near immediate reduction in symptoms.
She writes, “For years, I have observed that conscious inclusion of red meat into the therapeutic diets of my patients – women coming to me for labels of depression, chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, ADHD, autoimmunity, and chemical sensitivity – is an essential part of the alchemy of healing.
“At this point in my practice, if a prospective patient is vehemently opposed to eating red meat on principal, we let them know that there is likely a better clinical fit out there. I feel that way because of the radical transformations I have seen through a carnivorous dietary framework and my conviction that food is medicine. The truth is that once I hold space for the potential healing nature of animal foods like beef, lamb, and pork, the women I work with begin to open up to this possibility.”
Brogan has helped hundreds of patients and says, “By and large, my patients could only get better through inclusion of these animal foods.”
While managing mental health may not be as cut and dried as adding a cheeseburger to the menu, I do believe that food can be medicine, and beef is, hands down, one of the most nutrient-dense foods available to us. Rich in zinc, iron, protein, B-vitamins, saturated fats and more, beef replenishes our cells, fuels our active lifestyles and provides the vital nutrients needed for our brains and bodies.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.