What if I told you that the cause of depression may be hidden in your gut and not your brain?
Hey! Before you give up, consider this: There may be another reason why you suffer from depression, a reason you haven’t thought of before. Not to cast too morbid a shadow over mental illness, but I just had to express how excited I am about the latest information on the possible cause of depression because the last thing I heard truly surprised me.
It seems that depression may not be an entirely mental disorder on its own. The cause of depression may originate from the gut!
What we know about the cause of depression
It seems that depression isn’t just neurological, as we first expected. It could have some basis from the bacteria in the gut. As you know, various parts of the body can have good and bad bacteria, and a balance is needed to perform proficiently- aiding in digestion and other functions.
But it’s not an entirely new concept. Nutritionists and doctors have long known there was some connection between our gut and our brain. Our gut has a mind of its own. It’s called the enteric nervous system.
Eva Kalinik, a UK based nutritionist, said,
The brain and gut neurons are directly connected via the Vagus nerve, explaining why we feel “butterflies in our stomach” when faced with an anxiety-provoking situation.
Scientists go even further to say that depression, autism or anxiety can be caused, to a great extent, by gastrointestinal issues – some are abnormalities like inflammation of the gut.
Depression is no different than cancer, diabetes or heart disease, as it seems to be primarily an inflammatory disorder. Could it be that depression is simply a form of inflammation, may be inflammation of particular parts of the brain? I bet you never thought of it that way before!
What this means for doctors, is simple changes could then produce monumental results. Treating depression may have gone from the exhaustive research of changing genes to changing bacteria, which can be done through nutrition. In fact, there are a few notable ways you can improve your gut bacteria right now!
Here’re a few nutritional alterations to get you started.
Whole foods vs. Processed foods
Processed foods introduce all sorts of toxins into your body, and that’s why you should dump them as soon as possible. It’s twice as hard for the gut to break down the chemicals in these foods, much harder than with whole foods. Nutritious whole foods are more simplistic and add fiber to the diet, and the digestive system thrives on ample fiber. If you want to know just how unhealthy processed foods are, just consider that your chances of becoming depressed are increased by 60% when you choose a processed food way of life.
Reduce supplement intake
Supplements are just not as useful as natural nutrient intake. Instead of trying to find dietary supplements for everything you need, instead spend time researching each type of vegetable, fruit or protein you should include with your healthy lifestyle. It’s worth the trouble to improve your gut health.
Fats and Proteins
You know proteins are good for you -foods such as poultry and fish- but fats are important too. Not all fats are unhealthy fats, after all. Both proteins and fats provide healthy sources of amino acids, minerals and vitamins. That’s brain food and foods which can greatly reduce the chances of depression!
Vitamin D/ The happy vitamin
In order for the brain to function correctly, it must have Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is seen in most patients who suffer from depression, and there is usually a drastic shortage as well. Vitamin D can be found in milk and juice. And guess what! The sunshine can provide a huge amount of vitamin D just by spending a day outdoors. Now I’d say that’s easy fueling!
Say NO to processed sugar, dairy and gluten
Some people have an intolerance to foods. This intolerance can lead to inflammation of the gut. In turn, this inflammation will aggravate, if not cause, depression. I’m sure you’ve heard of both dairy and gluten intolerances; these things occur because food processing promotes the growth of bad bacteria which reduces the nutritional value of foods. If you are not getting ample nutrition, your brain can be starved. Then you face both brain and gut malfunction, and that would make anyone depressed.
These are only a few suggestions. If you think you may be suffering from depression, seek professional help immediately. If you have already been diagnosed with depression or other forms of mental illness, you might want to evaluate your diet. If proper food can improve, not only your physical health but your mental health as well, then you just might be on the track to a true healing experience. Never give up and remember, to find, you must first seek.
Never stop learning, evolving and improving. Great health could be just around the corner. So, make healthy food choices because poor nutrition may be the cause of depression and other mental health issues.
Of course, that’s just what my gut tells me. 🙂
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