Eat Your Way Out of Depression

Eat Your Way Out of Depression

I have a confession, and I’ll just jump right in and tell you about it. I speak humorously about it here, but it’s a serious issue for many of us. Please don’t read this as complaining.

It’s more to maybe connect with you if you have this same issue and for us to help one another through it.

I am a woman who struggles with crazy hormones and this often leads to depression. I’m not sure if it’s a personality thing, or just my basic DNA, or if I really just need straight therapy. Regardless, it can hit me pretty hard and I find myself disconnected for days and sometimes weeks at a time. It’s a spiritual, physical, mental and emotional problem. It is evenly distributed between all those aspects of my being. My spirit calls out for God, and I can’t hear Him. My body hurts and aches. My mind plays tricks on me, telling me I’m just not worth much…irrational thoughts. And of course, I’m emotional and sensitive. This isn’t an everyday thing for me. It’s maybe once a month or every couple months. My poor family has to “deal” with mommy being a little on edge or distant.

I am only 34, so I don’t believe this is the “big change” that we women go through… it may be the beginning. When I was at my worst, I started taking a good quality vitamin regimens. But this was getting pretty expensive and my hormones decided to un-regulate once more after being on this program for a couple years.  At this point, I’ve decided to wean off of vitamins and try something different that I’d love to talk to you about if you’ll email me. So far, my periods are more consistent, and my moods are regulating as well. The biggest help has been my chronic fatigue is lifting!! This helps our mood so much! When we’re not tired, we have an over all better outlook on life.  I have also been going to a chiropractor consistently, and he assures that by keeping your nervous system in line and communicating properly, your body will function more efficiently.

Spiritually, we have to train our minds to not listen to lies of the Devil. This is not an easy task. The Bible says,

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5.

I read a book recently that had great guidance. It’s by Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind. She gave amazing practical and spiritual advice on this issue. We realize our humanity when we fall into the enemy’s lies. It’s easy to feel insignificant and worthless, when really God loves us and has created us for a purpose.

Depression is serious. We are not claiming to fix it by only supplements, food, exercise and spiritual practices.. but it’s a HUGE start! Unfortunately, depression is a widespread health problem in America. Depressive disorders, which include major depression, bipolar disease, and chronic mild depression, affect 18.8 million Americans, or nearly 10 percent of the adult population, annually. Major depression alone affects 9.9 million Americans annually, and twice as many women as men, according to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health.

What I wanted to share, though, is how we can change how badly we feel through our nutrition.  I’ve been researching, and it seems certain foods can produce more serotonin and endorphins in our brain than others. Maybe we can all give this a try and see how it works. Here are the foods that might help you “eat your way out of depression”…

Sensible Carbs: put away those empty carbs like refined sugars and processed foods. Reach for “Good Carbs” such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, whole grains, quinoa, and nuts. Refined carbs (the bad ones) can raise your insolin levels quickly causing you to “crash” to a low point.. you want to eat carbs that can keep your sugar levels (your mood) at a stable level…one that is not spiking and falling. I used to have what was diagnosed as Hypoglycemia, but since we’ve changed our diet as a family, I haven’t fainted or had one spell of low blood sugar in 4 years!!

Healthy Fats: Avocados, nuts, fish (Salmon), coconut oil. One comment from the experts on FoodMatters documentary even says that  2 handfuls of cashews can have the same effect as a dose of Prosac!! So, eat those cashews up!  From what I understand, and I’m not a nutritionalist yet, these fats keep your brain lubricated, flexible, & fluid, so that your nervous system can communicate efficiently.

Amino Acids:  Tryptophan is an important amino acid that you need to make the brain chemical serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are believed to be a cause of depression. Several studies have shown that a diet high in tryptophan can improve depression. You can get tryptophan in your diet from foods high in protein like quality grass-fed meat, fish, beans, and pastured eggs. We like to season the latter with Bragg’s Amino Acids instead of salt or soy sauce.

Veggies: Low levels of the B vitamin folate, found in spinach, peas, beans, real orange juice, wheat germ or avocado, may play a role in depression in some patients, said Brent Bauer, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program. So, veggies with lots of vitamin C and B like broccoli, spinach, peppers, etc..

So, if you’re feeling down, think about a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with nuts, a generous spinach salad for lunch with grilled salmon, and a plate of brown rice, black beans and guacamole for dinner! Think about juicing some citrus fruits, too!

It’s not an easy process. And we may need to get help, find someone to talk to, a professional. But a good exercise regimens, right & pure supplements, spiritual connection, and some of these nutrient rich foods can help us conquer this sickness. We must fight everything within us that says, “sit, wallow, cry, eat junk, and alienate”… but we must do the exact opposite. God can help us, and good strong friends can as well.

Eat to your health (and happiness)!

 

 

Sources:  http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com; webmd; everydayhealth.com; sciencedaily.com;

 

 

About Rachel Brewer

I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. My journey is to find balanced health in my life spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Reaching out to others through the sharing of information and encouragement through daily life and my website www.puregoodness.net.

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About Rachel

I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. My journey is to find balanced health in my life spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Reaching out to others through the sharing of information and encouragement through daily life and my website www.puregoodness.net.

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  1. October 7, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Wow, Rachel, I really enjoyed this article! I am so proud of your research and also your lifestyle changes that have improved your all around quality of life! Each time Dad and I have visited you, we have been able to see the healthy results in your life as well as that of your family! Thank you for caring so much that you are willing to share what you have learned with others, for their potential benefit. Dad and I have adopted many of your suggestions and are reaping healthy results, too! Living in Brazil means that we systematically eat a shopping cart full of fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes every week. Thankfully, Brazilians still value what they eat, and focus on fresh and organic. Keep sharing, Rach, and thank you for this abundantly helpful website!

    • Lorrie Ausburn
      August 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      Dear Rachel: I have so many thoughts…but don’t seem to get them across very well at times. I love reading about your journey in life and how you accept it and meet it head on. You do everything in your power that you can….and then let God do the rest. I believe God makes some of us stronger than others…and I believe you are stronger that you might give yourself credit for…as you have endured what for so many would not be intolerable! I would hope that the fact that you share so openly and honestly, is also a method of therapy for yourself, not to mention what it can do for everyone reading it. I have not struggled with depression…right now I struggle with menopause. I don’t take any prescription hormones and want my body to go through it the way God designed it to. I guess in this day and age of women working outside the home, raising families and today’s technology, I think that we as women want to try to reduce symptoms so it does not slow us down too much..but sometimes I wonder if God designed us that way to slow us down…because for so many years we were so busy, etc. I now find when I am working and I have a deadline and my phones are ringing and my boss is calling me every 10 mins. .. I get overwhelmed and stressed… and I can feel symptoms of hot flashes, etc. becoming worse. I have talked to my boss about it..we are almost like family..and he understands completely..and that is why I am now working mostly 4 days a week as opposed to 5. I wish I could control it… but I can’t seem to. The stress definitely makes it worse. I just found a recipe for a smoothie from Dr. Oz that is supposed to help. I am going to be trying it everyday for a while and see if it helps. I am trying to eat better, exercise and just do what I can. I love your website and it has been so beneficial for me and I am trying to share with others that I know will benefit from it! Thank you so very much Rachel… My heart truly loves you!. You are so blessed to have the family that you have who love and support you all the way..and that makes me so happy for you! Love, Lorrie

      • Lorrie Ausburn
        August 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

        Rachel… sorry for my grammar mistakes… meant to say “tolerable”

      • August 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        Thank you Lorrie! I appreciate your kind words and love to hear your journey! I definitely agree we should stop, relax, abide, and keep growing.. not be lazy.. but learn to rest and listen to our bodies!

  2. October 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Rachel,
    you truly inspire me!!! Thanks for being so open , and thanks for writing this article …. My journey started 11 years ago, with just a “glimpse” and “awareness” .. and over the years , I have ignored it … I am sooo excited now that my eyes have been fully “opened” and an understanding is now flowing through my brain :) Articles like yours are what I soak up everyday, as I learn to change my lifestyle day by day … Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your findings, and your LIFE with us all!!! You truly not only talk the talk, but walk the walk and it’s inspiring!!! :) Love ya Cous!! Jennae

  3. October 8, 2011 at 12:41 am

    WOW! I can so totally relate. It’s almost as though we are related. Oh wait, we are related! I follow cycles of depression as well. Currently, stress is causing headaches and twitching muscles in my eyes. I know my body needs more of the good stuff! I can feel it. And being pregnant depletes me. The hardest part is battling on the days when you feel depressed for no logical reason. Often, there are triggers and stressors, but other times there are not! My diet is far from clean and healthy. It’s really funny though that I do crave protein and avocados A LOT. My husband will tell you that I’d prefer a salad of dark greens and nuts with olive oil and fresh grilled fish over any other meal, however, cooking and eating that way as a family just isn’t as easy. Slowly but surely, I am learning. Nothing starts my day better than eggs. I love all types of cheese and nuts and etc. baby steps, right Rachel? I did notice a huge difference when taking 2-6 Vitamin B supplements per day, and I know when my body is telling me to head outside and get some sun. Just like dad, my hardest time of day is from about 2-4 in the afternoon. That’s when I reach for coffee and advil or tylenol. I know; that’s not good!

  4. Jana V
    October 8, 2011 at 1:31 am

    amen and amen. and thank you for putting into words what so many of us deal with. you are a fighter and a truth-seeker, i’ve always loved that about you. … thanks for looking into this and being so willing to share it! :)

  5. Ashley Osman
    October 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks for the honest blog post! I went through some EXTREMELY difficult times this past year, and one thing I found that was extremely helpful was Fish Oil supplements. My doctor initially reached for the prescription pad, but when I began to question her about Fish Oil (Omega 3 Fatty Acid basically) she said that there is no denying in the medical field the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acid in treating depression/anxiety disorders. Prior to me adding these suppelements to my daily regimen, my brain literally felt like a squeaky, panic driven wheel. After a couple of weeks taking Fish Oil, my mind began to calm down, my spirit was quieter, and I felt a MILLION times better! Funny how we can derive plenty of Omega 3 fatty acid by eating the way God intended us to eat, but since we, as a society, don’t eat that way, by adding a supplement our bodies respond the way God intended it to respond. (if that makes any sense!) Ha! Anyway, I guess all I’m trying to say is depression/anxiety run rampant in our society, as does the consumption of processed, hormone injected foods. Of course they are related! Thanks for your insight! I choose a multi grain option this morning rather then sugary cereal or anything else! =)

  6. October 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    thank you all!! we need to continue to share with one another as we learn and grow!

  7. October 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you Rachel, Just a few months ago I stoped taking my so called happy pill… doctors wanted me too get a new start after I went though a numbers off health issues including a seizure disorder.

    I was going though lots off depression/anxiety in the past and was going on a BIG time run this time around. I began to take lots off Omega 3, vitamin C , B complex an D-3 this has helped me so much. I am trying to eat better though at times it is so hard I enjoy my latin food to. lol

    Today am feeling much better even though I have a long way I am keeping my mind clear and keep trusting God to help me become a better me for Him and for the ministry he has given us. Today I am free fm meds.. Prasie God . am only on the siezure one.

    Thank u so much for shaing your stuggles and how u have over come them through good eating and your walk with God.

    love u dearly my friend
    Gladys
    P.S thank for sharing your story as well. :)

  8. Heika
    October 10, 2011 at 5:23 am

    How wonderful of you to be so honest with everyone! We give each other strength when we are willing to show our weakness. I love you and miss you.

  9. Marie Hawkins
    March 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Rachel
    I read this a long time ago and today remembered to come back. On my way to get some supplements. Not sure if you know I had a TIA in January. Doctors believe it was a medication reaction (Cymbalta/Over-the-counter Sinus medication). I’m good now thank God but have been slowly weaned off the Cymbalta. It’s been two weeks now and I’m starting to feel I need some natural remedies or something.

    Thank you for posting this. My depression is a genetic issue and I will most likely end up going on another medication for depression but I want to continue to improve my diet as well as try natural remedies as much as possible. Side effects are just not fun.

    Thank you again for your articles and keep’um coming!
    Love you always,
    Marie

    • March 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Marie!!! I’m so sorry to hear about your TIA. That just sounds so scary. I’m so proud of you for getting off meds. My friend wrote us a story here too, about his journey off depression meds. You can read his story here: http://www.puregoodness.net/health/storytime-goodness-over-meds/ I know it will be a rough road, but I hope I can help you and your research helps you! Please keep me posted on your journey. Love you too girl!

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