Healthy Living

The Link Between Food and Depression {What to Eat to Naturally Feel Happier}

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Oftentimes we view the mind and body as separate entities. We treat the mind with cognitive therapy and see a psychiatrist and we treat the body through the various systems and health care specialists for each system’s issue, such as a cardiologist for the heart, or neurologist for the brain. Unfortunately this view of the body and mind is antiquated and simply not true. Everything in our body is connected and the foods we eat and digest can and do directly affect our brain, our mood, and mental illness.

Medicine has now discovered the link between insulin resistance or even prediabetes and a greater risk of losing brain function prematurely, having cognitive decline, poor memory. and alzheimers.

But how does sugar and processed foods affect our daily mood?

I personally feel spikes in anxiety a day or two after eating any amount of excess sugar. Before I dove into research on all things wellness, I never thought to ask myself after a period of heightened anxiety,

WHAT DID I EAT?

Now I do, and I generally can tie that moment of anxiety back to food that didn’t serve me. Through my research, I began to find studies that validated what I was experiencing. Even more so, there are other studies indicating that diabetes medications are being tested to treat anxiety and depression because the connection between heightened blood sugar and depression is so evident. The goal for most of us though is to prevent that initial rush of sugar and then insulin in our bloodstream in the first place. There are so many success stories of people eradicating or controlling otherwise debilitating anxiety or depression with the use of food.

Here are 3 Ways To Reap the Benefits of Limiting Sugar

  • Recognize the Addiction: In the previous study mentioned, sugar withdrawal was substantiated as a real thing. You can become addicted and it can be very difficult to stop. Being aware of it gives you power. When you begin to remove sugar, know that you’re craving it and be patient. With time those cravings will be reduced.

  • Fill Up On Real, Healthy Foods as Replacements: Great substitutes for sugar are berries, fruit, or dark chocolate that contains 70% or more of cocoa. All are excellent alternatives to processed sugar to stave off cravings and get over the initial obstacle of cravings.

  • Increase the Intensity of Your Workouts: Add higher intensity to your workouts and not only will you increase the feel good hormones in your body, you may reduce your cravings altogether. This study showed that exercise participants who exercised at a greater intensity had lower levels of the hormone that stimulates appetite.

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For those of you inspired by the stories of people healing themselves naturally, but may be dealing with more complicated health issues, there are some amazing medical doctors who also believe and practice functional or integrative medicine to use your own body’s healing mechanisms to create big changes.

One of those incredible game-changing doctors is Dr. Jessica Floyd, a Mayo-Clinic trained, Board-Certified Neurologist, who just launched into the world of coaching clients with a more integrative approach through her new business Synapse & Soul.

Check her out on social media and stay tuned for her website to launch soon! Also, come back to the blog for a Q&A on Dr. Jessica’s new business.

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