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Is There a Link Between Nutrition and Depression?

We all understand the link between eating too many cakes and gaining weight; between not drinking enough water and suffering from headaches, or a diet high in processed carbohydrates and lethargy. What many people miss, however, is the link between what you eat and your emotional state. What is the link between nutrition and depression? Can our diet cause emotional and psychological disorders?

It’s not a stretch to assume that if what you eat affects your physical body, then it will also affect your mental state. 

In fact, the emerging discipline of nutritional neuroscience has noted some fascinating information linking nutrition with emotions, behaviour and cognition.

Nutrition and Depression

The most common mental disorders, globally, have been found to be depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia.

No matter the country or region, the common thread shared by a vast majority of people suffering from these disorders is that of nutritional deficiencies; notably essential vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids. 

Yet the first stop for many diagnosed with a mental disorder tends to be their local doctor who prescribes an anti-depressant or something similar – many of which themselves, bring with them unfortunate side effects. 

Healing The Body From Within

Someone suffering from depression is very likely to make poor food choices which will not help, and in some cases can actually contribute to depression. While there may be several factors which contribute to depression and anxiety, the fix remains very much the same: we need to give our bodies enough of what it needs to create the hormones and chemicals needed to “feel good.”

Without sounding too simplistic, if you can imagine for a moment that you need to build a bridge in order to cross a river. You have some bricks and a few iron bars, but neither of these is useful on their own. What you need is concrete to make sure it all sticks together. 

Likewise, in our own bodies, we may have the bricks and bars, but they are useless without the concrete which creates something completely different. Our bodies need certain vitamins, minerals and fats to synthesise the hormones that we need to feel good, to be alert, make good decisions and sleep better. But, if we don’t supply these in our diet, or even in a supplement form, then we can’t build the proverbial bridge.

Sufficient amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and L-theanine form the foundation of the recipe for serotonin in our body, but there’s more to it than this alone.

Holistic Health & Depression

Sadly, there’s no guarantee that simply adding a few supplements or some oily fish to our diet will offer a long-term fix. Many people suffering from depression may need some form of therapy in addition to a change of diet in order to climb out of the hole of depression or other disorders.

We’d like to recommend if you or someone you know is suffering from depression or other mental disorders, that you give Dr Sanua a call and book a consultation. Dr Sanua is interested in the person as a whole and will recommend options with long-term benefits that offer relief from your symptoms. 


 

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