Depression and Your Diet

Friday, November 17, 2017 | By JP Emerald Coast

Depression is a very common mental health disorder with 18.8 Million americans suffering from some form of depressive disorder. There are a wide range of depression treatment options, from medication to various talk, group, and experiential therapies as well as different treatments like DBT and EMDR. While receiving therapeutic treatment is essential, it is also empowering to learn more about environmental factors that may play a part in the disorder and arm yourself with the knowledge to make choices that could loosen the grip of depression symptoms you may be experiencing.

Mind Your Mood Foods

Studies surrounding the links between gut health, food, and depression are fairly new, but evidence that nutritional changes can have positive affects are promising. BMC Medicine recently published a study indicating that “dietary improvement may provide an efficacious and accessible treatment strategy for the management of this highly prevalent mental disorder, the benefits of which could extend to the management of common co-morbidities.”

What this means for everyday Americans is that choosing healthier food options, including higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, fish, and healthy fats is associated with a reduced likelihood of depression occurrence. It also happens to be great for your physical health!

There are also studies showing some important foods to avoid. Psychology Today lists the following foods/substances as natural depressants you might want to steer clear of:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • High-Calorie, Low Nutrient Foods

A high intake of refined sugars is shown to not only disrupt your body’s regulation of insulin, but also be harmful for your mental health. A lot of this is thought to be related to serotonin. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter in the body. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating everything from sleep, mood, pain processing, and appetite. The same neurotransmitter that helps you digest your food is responsible for regulating your emotion, and 95 percent of serotonin is actually produced in the gut! Seems obvious that consuming “good for you” foods that go directly to the serotonin source would have some nice mood-lifting effects.

JourneyPure Emerald Coast’s Treatment approach

Roughly 20 percent of Americans who find themselves suffering from mood orders like depression also face a substance abuse or addiction problem. The co-occurance of these disorders can exacerbate the symptoms of each other. JourneyPure Emerald Coast follows a clinical program referred to as dual-diagnosis. This means we not only treat the substance abuse issues our patients come in with, but also the depression or any other mental illness that may go with it. We utilize a wide range of evidence-based therapies but also work with our patients on overall health and wellness. By following scientific research regarding things like diet and depression, we are able to educate our clients holistically about all of the things they have at their disposal to live happier, healthier lives. Each of our patients receive nutritional counseling as part of their treatment plan. We really believe that treating the whole person is what will give them the greatest chance at long term recovery. We aren’t just your partners in recovery for 30 days. We’re your partners for life—a long, happy, healthy one!

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