Inflammation in Depression & Anxiety
New research shows that Depression and Anxiety are symptoms of inflammation in the body. Our neurochemicals such as Serotonin, Epinephrine and Norepinephrine which are imbalanced in an individual with depression and anxiety are primarily secreted in the gut! This means that the food we eat has a major impact on our mood. Eating a good amount of a rainbow of colorful vegetables helps create a healthy environment of nutrients and antioxidants in our body. The gut- brain axis allows communication and balance of neurochemicals in the brain.
When we eat unhealthy processed foods, too much sugar and unhealthy fats, we cause inflammation in our gut. This leads to a “leaky gut” which in turn allows large particles to circulate in our blood and our various organs read these as “allergens”. The body organs begin a cascade of low grade inflammatory responses causing a disease process to begin. All chronic as well as autoimmune diseases begin in this way. It can take years to build up before we experience any symptoms. Autoimmune diseases, overweight and obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2, dementia and cancer are some examples of such inflammation. At times it may take ten years before the symptoms begin and they can be difficult to treat or reverse. Depression and anxiety go hand in hand with many such illnesses due to the inflammatory response in the gut -brain axis.
A healthy diet, exercise, detoxification, creating a healthy gut bacterial environment with a good nutrition plan and adequate probiotics as well as pre biotics helps begin the healing process.
- Lot of colorful (rainbow colors) vegetables, about half the plate at each meal.
- Plentiful of healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds as well as butter (ghee is purified butter which has removed milk solids from butter). These help keep you full and are important in your nutrition plan.
- Protein about the size of a deck of cards at each meal. Grass fed, organic is preferred to avoid toxins such as hormones. Choose fish with omega 3 fats as it helps mood and inflammation.
- Some fruit again a variety and more berries or low sugar fresh fruits. Fructose in fruits can increase blood sugar very quickly.
- Less grains as well as legumes, beans.
- Certain hard cheeses as well as gouda and brie, egg yolks and fermented vegetables (not in vinegar) contain Vitamin K2 which helps inflammation. Vitamin D3 also improves mood and inflammation.