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)!