Lets talk about mental health and depression.
Mental health needs balance just like our physical health does. We are having a mental health crisis in this country and suicide is now the #2 cause of death amongst our young people.
Magazine and newspapers are sharing multitudes of articles about it, but I never see lifestyle habits mentioned as a significant solution, so I did 4 podcasts on the subject. bit.ly/cherylpodcast1
There is a new field of medicine being developed in the functional medicine community and they are calling it nutritional psychiatry.
There are studies that support that now only are WE what we eat, but we are also what our gut bacteria eat. There is a direct line from our gut to our brain, and if we are eating processed and fast food, that direct line is dampening all of our feel-good hormones. If we are eating the rainbow of organic fruits and vegetables inflammation is reduced and balance is restored in both our body and in our brains which enhances a feel-good mood.
Balance is greater than just food, but food and mood is a great place to start. The other lifestyle habits that directly impact mood are stress, movement, sleep, community, being spiritual and getting into nature, joy and laughter, making sure all of our hormones are balanced and these are things that we control and can put into place without anyone’s permission. It does Feel Good to Feel Good, and all these lifestyle habits create health both mentally and physically.
This is important to me because I have lost 3 loved ones to suicide in my life. A close friend in college and then 2 very dear family members. Being left behind always makes you feel like you could have done more for the loved one. You realize its not your responsibility, but you are haunted by “what ifs”.
The first thing to do if you have a loved one struggling with mood is to let them know you are a safe harbor for them to come to. A harbor without judgement. We seem to stigmatize mental health so that the person out of balance is afraid to share their struggles. Take that away.
Then get them to get professional help. If it is a chemical imbalance there are drugs that can help mitigate the symptoms. If it is a trauma, therapy is invaluable. But while your loved one is working with a medical professional get them to start to adopt all of the lifestyle habits that I talk about in my podcasts. The lifestyle habits will return balance and allow the loved one to begin to heal.
Now lets talk about walnuts for a moment.
Nature is amazing. Walnuts actually look like brains, and they have a big whollop of omega3 oils that can start to return balance. Cashews also can help. Just make sure that magnesium levels are also at optimal levels because magnesium and omega3’s work together and fit together like puzzle pieces.
I have many tips in my podcasts right down to nose breathing to increase the nitric oxide in the body which is made at the top of the nose. Nitric oxide is very important for your heart but also directly impacts mood. There is also a supplement available that directly improves mood by increasing the nitric oxide content in the body.
Stop at nothing to find solutions for the mood. Remember to create balance. Inflammation destroys balance which is why all these lifestyle habits are so important.
Go listen to my podcasts. They can be life changing. bit.ly/cherylpodcast1
This was Dr. Jonny Bowden a functional nutritionist that inspired my post today.
“Walnuts contain the highest amounts of omega-3 fats of any other nuts. In addition to the other remarkable things omega-3s do for you, like help lower triglycerides and reduce plaque formation, they also support brain function on a number of levels. One of those levels has to do with mood and feeling. There are compelling population studies linking the consumption of large amounts of fish (omega-3 fatty acids) to low rates of depression. Controlled clinical trials of omega-3s in depression are under way at any number of research centers. There is biochemical evidence of low levels of omega-3s in depressed patients (as well as a number of other behavioral and cognitive disorders and conditions). Here’s why it makes sense: Fats in the diet are incorporated into cell membranes. Omega-3s are soft and fluid and give the cells enough “give” to allow them to communicate with each other, facilitating the movement of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin in and out of the cells, and helping to support memory and thinking as well. Omega-3s truly are “brain food,” and walnuts are rich in them.
Several studies have demonstrated greater attention, reduction in behavioral problems, and less ADD-like behaviors in schoolkids when they’re given omega-3s. Because it’s hard to get kids to eat fish, let alone carry it to school in their lunchbox, walnuts are a really smart idea for a kid snack.”