It seems that in our modern age with political conflict and unrest, along with what seems like an increasingly aggressive society, depression is on the rise. Of course, external issues aren’t the only cause of depression; more often depression comes from internal imbalances.
Because your brain plays a significant role in whether you suffer from a mental health condition like depression, it is important to incorporate those foods, herbs, and supplements that help balance brain health, while avoiding those that aggravate it.
Experts sometimes refer to the gut as the second brain due to the link between the gut and brain health (which is called the gut-brain axis). Boost up your intake of fermented foods like sauerkraut, plant-based yogurt, kimchi – all with live cultures – to boost both the quantity and diversity of gut microbes.
Harvard researchers found that high animal protein diets such as the popular paleo, ketogenic and Atkins diets cause an increase in inflammation-causing bacteria to grow in the intestines. Depression has been increasingly linked with inflammation so it is important to quell inflammation for long-term and lasting results. Eat more vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains – preferably gluten-free choices like oats, quinoa, rice, and millet – since many people with depression have gluten sensitivities.
Sugar is one of the main causes of inflammation, which is linked to over 80 diseases, including depression. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat in favor of whole fruits.
A study conducted by the University of Exeter and the University of Trnava, Slovakia found that people who live in more densely forested areas are less likely to be taking anti-depressant medications. Even if you don’t live in the forest you can seek out forested or natural places to take regular walks or to simply meditate and inhale the fresh, oxygen-rich air.
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