I was driving last week and an article came on BBC Radio 2 News about how eating a Mediterranean Diet can help you with depression……this got my attention
How cool is that, eating right can help you with your mood. Dr Camille Lasalle, who carried out the analysis with colleagues at University College London, said the evidence so far pointed to the idea that the foods we eat can make a difference in lowering our risk of depression, even though there is no solid clinical proof yet. This has been carried out over 43 studies in 8 years.
This is great to read, however, I fear there is a long way to go before conventional medicine accepts this. Prof Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, recommends “a heavy dose of caution”. “Whilst eating healthier is good for many reasons, we need more evidence before we can say plant-rich diets can improve mental health,” he said
From my own personal experience I know all too well the gut brain connection…..if I overdo the processed foods, sugary foods then my brain becomes a moosh…..if that is a word. Typically I would start to stutter again, brain fog kicks in big time, dyslexia jumps up a notch and generally I become more spangled. Ok, so these are not medical terms however they are relative to me.
What the article should have concluded in my opinion is the following……The gut is connected to the brain via the vagus nerve which runs along the spinal column. When our micro biome becomes out of sink the neurotransmitters in the gut are not produced which has an impact on how we feel. Why? Because 90% of the bodies serotonin is made in the gut, this is the stuff that make you feel happy, less anxious and 50% of our dopamine is produced in the gut, so if our gut isn’t in check then you can understand why we may feel anxious or depressed. We all know that we are told to go with your gut feeling, and this is because of the gut brain connection. Check out the Harvard article here Harvard Gut Brain Connection Not looking after your gut can lead to some serious issues such as leaky gut which can in turn be a trigger for other issues within the body, however, do not fear as help is at hand. Some basic principles are below:
Eat fermented foods such as Sauerkraut, Kimchi.
Drink fermented drinks such as Kombucha and Keifer
Reduce the amount of processed foods and drinks, heavy in refined sugar.
Certain additional supplements
Aloe Vera & Ginger are very good for soothing the gut.
Check out this awesome gut loving tea:
Combine ginger and water (and optional dried herbs) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until mixture is a dark colour and smells strongly of ginger, about 10 to 15 minutes total. Strain mixture into a mug. Stir in honey to taste and enjoy. I pimp mine up with some Peppermint Oil from Doterra which is excellent for soothing the gut.