Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
Do you suffer from depression and anxiety? Want to take your life back from these debilitating mental health issues? Well, you may want to start with the food!
It has been speculated for a long time that what food we eat and what liquids we drink have a direct impact on our mood. There’s actually growing evidence that our brains and our guts are secretly connected.
“Many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during a depression,” according to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry (2008).
Is Food Really Related to My Depression and Anxiety?
Studies about nutritional therapy are still in the budding stages but there are two areas that have been found to be useful. The first area is around healthy fats which are called the omega-3s. The second area is around a healthy microbiome or your gut flora.
Omega-3 fatty acids are generally supposed to have a range of anti-inflammatory effects on our bodies. Some studies have even suggested that this continues to reach parts of the brain that have been associated with depression and anxiety.
Likewise, having a healthy gut flora can enhance your mood. Initially, it would increase your overall sense of well-being but also very importantly because it has a direct effect on your immune system. Please be reminded that immune health is an additional element that has a high level of crossover with mental health. Some have actually gone as far as calling the stomach the second brain.
Here’s a list of ten golden rules that will shape your dietary behaviour and may help with your mental health whether you have depression or anxiety.
1. Focus mostly on eating plants
Vegetables and legumes are types of food that are rich in nutrients and fibers.
2. Always use herbs and spices
Especially turmeric and saffron. These natural food additives have multiple health benefits, being antidepressants included. So they would keep depression and anxiety at bay.
3. Eat Nuts
Nuts are a very popular type of food because they are delicious, convenient, and can be enjoyed in different types of diets. Best of all, studies have found that nuts help with your mood. This will help you avoid depression and anxiety.
4. Eat for your gut
Keep your second brain happy and healthy by managing the balance of bacteria in your stomach and intestines. Eat more probiotic food like yogurt, kefir, or kimchi. They will definitely help you handle your depression and anxiety because your gut will be in a good mood.
5. Fats are friendly
Healthy fats like omega-3s are believed to have a good influence on parts of your brain that are associated with depression and anxiety.
6. Get the right balance of protein
Eat good proteins like fish and lean meat. Avoid eating highly processed meat products.
7. Avoid sweeteners and additives
Highly processed food has been associated with poor mental health that usually results to depression and anxiety.
8. Monitor your blood sugar
This has different kinds of benefits and helps you to not become neglectful of your health.
9. Revamp your diet once in awhile
The mean Western diet is composed of around 20 ingredients. Ancestral humans most likely ate more at around 150. The more variations, the more you would be interested in trying different types of appropriate food. Your mood will improve from the excitement of trying more new things. Depression and anxiety will be less likely to show up.
10. Unwind and revel in eating
We usually attribute social and recreational activity as a benefit of eating food. Every culture actually focuses their celebrations around food. So let us enjoy these moments. Both your body and your soul will be nourished. Depression and anxiety will most likely take a break for a while after a great party.
Research about nutritional therapy is only in the beginning stages and many nutritionists would contend the effectivity of what is on this list. Holistic approaches and using nutrition will be a great alternative for those who do not respond to medication. People will find it easier and more enjoyable to eat delicious food while knowing it will help them feel better. They will be less likely to succumb to depression and anxiety as a result.
Richard A. Honaker, M.D. — Chief Medical Advisor at YourDoctors.Online
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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
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