Proven Scientific Link Between Processed Food And Depression
By Lindsay Sibson
I hope you will forgive me for being utterly cliché as I start this article, but the well-known saying goes “You are WHAT you eat.”
But did you know that this phrase is actually traced back to 1826? SAY WHAAAAT? It started way back when a man wrote in the book The Physiology of Taste, “tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are.” The implications of these phrases are that, if you want to be healthy and feel great, you must eat good food.
Fast forward to modern times and a food market that is flooded with processed junk food, drive-through windows and fancy coffee drinks packed with sugary calories… it should come as no surprise that many people are tired, cranky and overweight.
There is an abundance of research that indicates a strong correlation between WHAT we eat and HOW we feel. Your food choices can have a profound effect on your mental health and overall wellbeing.
But how is it all connected?
It all starts in your brains (plural) – that’s right – you have two! Obviously, you have the brain in your head, which is the main control center for all that you think and do. But did you know that there is a second “brain” in your belly? Both brains were formed out of the same tissue when you were developing in the womb and are connected by a nerve.
This nerve (the vagus nerve) that connects the brain to the gut allows them to communicate. It is now widely known in the science world that gut bacteria use this nerve to send information to you brain.
But what does this mean for you?
It means that your mental health is directly connected to your gut health! In other words, if your gut health is being sabotaged by sugar, gluten and other junk foods – then your mind will also be negatively affected.
Therefore, if you are trying to improve your mental health – it is absolutely vital to take care of your gut health!
Here is what to avoid (and WHY you should avoid it):
||Refined sugar,processed fructose
- Feeds pathogens in your gut, which overtake beneficial bacteria (NOTE: a pathogen is anything the causes disease).
- Creates chemical reactions in your body that promote inflammation.
- Contributes to insulin and leptin resistance (which play a role in your mental health).
- Suppresses BDNF (a growth hormone in your brain). Low levels of this hormone are associated with depression.
||A protein found in wheat, rye and barley
- Negatively impacts mood and brain health.
- Promotes depression and other serious mental health issues such as schizophrenia.
|Artificial food additives
- Wreaks havoc on your brain function.
- Panic attacks and depression are a known potential side effect of consuming aspartame (found in Diet Coke!).
- Known to negatively impact your mood.
|Genetically engineered ingredients
- Toxic for your body.
- Alters your gut flora.
- Promotes pathogens while limiting beneficial microbes needed for your best physical and mental health.
||Herbicide used on food crops
- Causes nutritional deficiencies (your body doesn’t get the minerals it needs for proper mood control and brain function).
- Causes system toxicity.
- Can cause antibiotic-resistance.
So, does the root of your mental health and wellness start in your gut and furthermore, what you eat?
An abundant amount of research all points to YES. What you eat and the state of your gut directly influences how you feel (your mood) and your cognitive function (your brain).
Therefore, by improving your microbiome (your gut), you will experience an improvement in your mood and brain function!
HOW do you improve your gut?
Here are 4 steps to take to create a healthy gut:
1. DON’T EAT TOXINS: Start by avoiding the items listed above – they have no reason to be in your diet and polluting your body.
2. Eat plenty of fermentable fibers: sweet potatoes, yams, yucca, etc.
3. Eat fermented foods: kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi (Korean cabbage).
4. Take a high quality pro-biotic:tv’s Biotic balance is a perfect fit.
So if you want to improve your mood, upgrade your plate!
Do you have personal experience with this? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below. 🙂
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.
Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).
Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
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