My folks are always keeping an eye out for me, whether it be my personal safety, or clipping out newspaper articles that they know are related to what I teach to my clients. They are good that way. This time they found an article in the Miami Herald about people who eliminated their depression and / or anxiety by returning to a traditional diet rich in meat and vegetables.
And this is not the only article that discusses the relationship between diet and brain functioning. More and more researchers, mental health experts, and dietitians are discovering a connection between diet rich in meat and vegetables (whole, real foods) and reduced rates of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and Bi-polar disorder. It does not take a rocket scientist to notice that over the past couple of decades, with the increase of processed, sugary, and fast foods, genetically modified ingredients, and a push to eat more grains because they are “good for you” we have seen a rise in brain-based issues including ADHD and Autism.
But returning to meals of high quality protein, healthy fats, and vegetables (much like your great, great grandmother would make) is only the springboard to improving brain health. What this really does is improve your GUT health. And the gut is the powerhouse of your immune system.
Think of your small intestine as a hose, and processed foods, gluten, and sugar as a weed whacker. The hose deliveries nutrients (water) to your plants. But what happens to the hose when it battles the weed whacker? It now has holes, lots of them. The hose now looks more like a child's lawn toy … the kind with the clown, with holes in his head, that sprays water everywhere … anyone? anyone?
Imagine what happens to your body when your small intestine is “leaky.” Your immune system then tries to fight the “invaders” that are escaping through the holes in the hose. Now your body has inflammation. And where does inflammation surface? Well, that depends on your genetic make-up. For some it is the brain, for others the heart, skin (hello acne), in the joints, reproductive organs, and the list goes on.
Imagine what happens to your body when your small intestine slowly heals. When you give it the foods is was meant to process. When you are finally absorbing the nutrients from REAL food. Yup, the inflation decrees and changes the face of whatever “disorder” you are battling.
Now here is my disclaimer: I am not saying that diet alone is the “magic cure” for all diseases and mental health issues. Lifestyle factors and environmental toxins also play a large role. And the nutritional profile of someone working on Autism, for example, is going to be different than someone with cancer. But the food you put into your body is a start in the right direction and may indeed, vaporize an ailment you have been struggling with over the past several years. I am living proof, reversing my own health woes with lifestyle and diet changes alone.
If you could eliminate depression, anxiety, or an other health issue just by changing your diet, would you?