Depression Caused by Diet? Could it be Cured By Diet Too?
1 million Aussies have depression right now and 2 million Aussies suffer from anxiety. Those are the stats from Beyond Blue.
That’s a lot right?
Could these crazy high numbers be the result of chronic inflammation caused by lifestyle stress and poor diet?
We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again- inflammation is the root of all disease and depression could simply be the result of chronic inflammation.
If this is the case (and we believe it is) depression then isn’t a disease…it’s a message that so many leave unanswered. A message that there is disharmony in the body, that something needs sorting out.
Chronic inflammation wreaks havoc on our bodies, damages tissue, causes plaque build up in our arteries which results in heart disease, damages our immune and endocrine systems and is also ultimately attributed to early onset dementia and other neurological conditions.
I hope we are all aware by now of what causes chronic inflammation…..they are the usual suspects – a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, gluten, sugar, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, antibiotics, environmental toxins and general stress.
Interestingly, Psychiatric researchers have observed that patients with higher levels of inflammatory markers are less likely to respond to antidepressants, and more likely to respond to anti-inflammatories.
Nature is our greatest source of anti inflammatories, not synthetic chemicals. Period.
It’s been shown time and time again by numerous studies conducted world wide that diet improves brain function. Actually diet has the ability to positively impact every system operating our body. Diet is our greatest friend or foe when it comes to managing inflammation yet it’s often not even mentioned in a GP consultation!
Modern diets high in refined carbohydrates and sugar contribute in large part to an overgrowth of pathogens (gut dysbiosis) and a lack of beneficial bacteria to fight off these pathogens. Candida is a result of gut dysbiosis and has been shown to have a massive impact on our neurological system, many sufferers report brain fog, depression and anxiety whilst in the grip of it. That’s only one example, we could go on for days….
Why then aren’t our medical community focusing on before anything else, proper diet?
If doctors were to recommend a ‘gut brain health’ diet it would look something like this-
Rich in leafy greens, lots of veggies (9 cups a day is the aim guys), small amounts of fruit, lots of clean water, fermented foods, no grains, zero processed foods, high quality protein and plenty of quality fats.
If we were prescribed this instead of medication, would we see a reduction in the rates of mental illness?
We think we would. We also think that if these positive eating behaviours stuck and were passed down to the next generation, we would see a continuing rate of decline in depression and mental health concerns Australia wide and the world for that matter.
“Depression is a serious medical condition that may be due to a chemical imbalance, and Zoloft works to correct this imbalance.” – A statement only a pharmaceutical rep would say.
Let’s hope we see a day where instead our doctors suggest a protocol more like this to address mental health as advocated for by Dr Kelly Brogan-
- Exercise– Burst exercise is Kelly’s primary recommendation. It is the most bang for your buck in terms of cardiovascular benefit and specifically enhancing mitochondrial health because it puts a special kind of stress on the body when you move to your max for 30 seconds that then recover for 90 seconds. She recommends 8 intervals 1-3x/week.
- Meditation– The effects of stimulating the relaxation nervous system, even through listening to a 20 minute guided meditation, can be far-reaching. Enhanced genomic expression of anti-inflammatory genes and suppression of inflammatory ones has been demonstrated in studies.
- Diet– Kelly recommends a diet that controls for glycemic fluctuations through elimination of refined carbs and grains, and through high levels of natural fats to push the body to relearn how to use fats for fuel. This is the brain’s preferred source.
- Strategic Supplementation- fats (evening primrose oil and fish oil), curcumin (the active component of turmeric), and probiotics to name a few, can help promote a synergy of beneficial effects from the above interventions.
We would also recommend doTerra’s DDR Prime supplement oil blend as part of the strategic supplementation program.
The Mindd Foundation http://mindd.org/resources/faqs/ is one group whose aim it is to spread this message far and wide. Mindd is a wealth of resources on all things brain and gut health and we strongly recommend you have a read through the website and look at some of the case studies.
Dave Asprey’s new book Head Strong is simply awesome and a worthy investment in your health.
The research is there. You’ve just got to be willing to seek it out and look for an alternative.