Nutrition and Mental Health: We are What We Eat

Nutrition and Mental Health: We are What We Eat
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There has been a growing concern over whether or not nutrition plays a role in our mental health. Could these two variables somehow be interconnected?

History of a Connection

Years ago Dr. Andrew Weil discovered that depression was actually an inflammatory disease.

How could this be?

If you're stressed out, chances are your body is under stress which activates inflammation. If your body is inflamed, chances are your experiencing signs of depression. In brief, the two go hand in hand and in most cases cannot exist without one another.

-Depression is typically associated with inflammatory diseases

-Stress and anxiety initiate proinflammatory gateways

-Transmuting these gateways can reduce symptoms of depression

That's great and all but the root cause of depression is a lot simpler than this.

Our Diet and Depression

Could it be that our body's well-being and overall mood is influenced by our diet?

A growing number of researchers and specifically, functional medicine doctors (FMD), firmly believe in a correlation. Dr. Mark Hyman, a popular FMD known for his blood sugar solution, believes that food is medicine and when used properly can help heal the body and reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, the average American diet promotes inflammation causing the body to feel weak, sleepy and sluggish.

The Sugar Rush

Sugar, wheat, and carbohydrates, especially in excess, can cause inflammation. When blood sugar is raised, it can cause irritation in the body, problems with the liver, pancreas and other organs. This can skew hormonal balance, which affects brain function ultimately dictating our perception and feelings.

These feelings can distract us from thinking clearly and range anywhere from short-term to long-term conditions. If ignored or not properly addressed this can lead to more serious health concerns.

Did you know that over 20 million Americans are diabetic? And another 79 million Americans are pre diabetic? Added together that’s about 100 million people, or about a third of the US population.

On a recent edition of the CBS Sunday Morning News, there was a segment on Memorial Day road rage. A reporter said that about a third of us exhibit some type of road rage during the year. I’m not saying that eating a few donuts or consuming a bottle of pop will make you turn into Mr. Hyde, but given the numbers, it's something to consider.

The New Diabetes, It's Different than You Think

On a more serious note, did you know that about 40% of all Alzheimer’s patients are diabetics? The problem is so widespread that functional medicine doctors are beginning to call Alzheimer’s: “Type 3 diabetes.”

Over time, inflammation in the body begins to invade the brain not just causing mood swings but destroying brain cells leading to serious health conditions.

No Better Time than Now!

There is good news though: By avoiding a diet of excess sugar, wheat and carbohydrates, we can avoid a number of these problems, no matter how long we have been eating otherwise. And we don’t have to do it all at once. There are many resources to help us make changes a little bit at time. Do what you can and feel the difference for yourself!

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