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Thread: Can Grains Make You Crazy? page

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    Sunnivara's Avatar
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    Can Grains Make You Crazy?

    Primal Fuel
    I had an interesting experience recently. Because some of the best sources of manganese are grains and legumes, which we eliminate when eating paleo, I got the silly idea I should supplement manganese. A few days after starting the supplements I started having severe anxiety and sometimes full blown panic attacks. I am normally a pretty mellow person so this was very unusual for me. One day it was so bad I thought I was losing my mind and became severely depressed. I read up on manganese and realized the dose was too high. High doses can cause neurological problems. The term "neurological" normally applies to the physical side of the nervous system, such as coordination, memory issues, sense of touch, etc. But surely the the brain and behavior are part of the nervous system? I quit taking the manganese and after a few days felt much more myself. But it made me wonder if people who have anxiety, depression, or other mood or behavioral issues are people who eat large quantities of manganese-rich foods, e.g. grains. Not to pick on vegetarians but, as an example, I have known some who were awfully moody and edgy. Non-paleo vegetarians often eat a lot of legumes and grain combinations instead of meat to get their complete proteins, so they may be consuming more manganese than the average person. If I ate beans and rice every meal everyday could I go crazy?
    Thoughts, opinions?

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    JoanieL's Avatar
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    Apparently, based on two of our new "posters."

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    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    Apparently, based on two of our new "posters."
    Thank you.

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    Sunnivara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    Apparently, based on two of our new "posters."
    Hmm? I think I've missed something.

  5. #5
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnivara View Post
    Hmm? I think I've missed something.
    Sorry, we were sharing a snicker about some of the latest posters who seem bent on confusing people and generally being argumentative by militantly advocating against the very core of primal eating. People coming on MDA preaching that grains and sugar are health foods would be like me going on a vegan site and telling them all that they should be eating meat. Yes, it would be under my free speech rights to do so but why would I want to?

    To answer your question seriously, there is some very good evidence about the connection between a wheat based diet and neurological/emotional disorders. I started a thread here a while back on behalf of a friend of mine who suffers from depression and got some interesting feedback. I will try to dig that one up for you.

    Here you go: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread26139.html
    Last edited by Paleobird; 12-15-2012 at 02:46 PM. Reason: add link

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    Damiana's Avatar
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    Vegetarians and vegans are cranky because they typically get little to no fat or cholesterol in their diet, which is a major part for brain development and cell communication. I'm sure wheat is not good for you but to claim it makes you crazy is overreaching it. For some people with high food sensitivities, maybe.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

  7. #7
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damiana View Post
    Vegetarians and vegans are cranky because they typically get little to no fat or cholesterol in their diet, which is a major part for brain development and cell communication. I'm sure wheat is not good for you but to claim it makes you crazy is overreaching it. For some people with high food sensitivities, maybe.
    I agree that it is not all about the wheat. The lack of fat is indeed critical. The inflammatory factor of wheat doesn't help any though.

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    reallygravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damiana View Post
    Vegetarians and vegans are cranky because they typically get little to no fat or cholesterol in their diet, which is a major part for brain development and cell communication.
    In my past life, when I was on a low-fat, low-carb, high-protein diet (gasp), I was pissed at the world and hungry all the time. It was a punishment, and hey, healthy food should be punishment, right?! Phfft.

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    Serotonin is the key to understanding crazy. That and pro-inflammatory hormones like estrogen. Grains are pro-inflammatory and release insulin which converts to estrogen and raises serotonin too so sure..... grains can make you a lunatic:
    Glycemia, starch, and sugar in context
    Whole Grains and Other Complex Carbs Elevate Calming Serotonin | My Healing Kitchen

    "Calming serotonin", sure................. The managnese part of it, not so sure. I spent a fair amount of time in the grainy-vegan-macrobiotic world; I never met any "real" people who were all there mentally in that movement.

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    Honestly, high protein, low fat never changed my mood. I pretty much think most people (no matter what I'm eating) suck because they are too lazy to be cool. But, low fat did make my hair break off at the ends. It's a small vain thing, but having had long hair all my life, it mattered to me. While I don't think getting 70% of my calories from fat is good for me, 50% is fine and do-able. Everyone is different and there are an infinite number of things that work for them.

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