If you find yourself feeling blue and wondering “Why am I depressed” you might want to take a closer look at your diet. Because it turns out hidden food sensitivities may be to blame.
Serotonin is the brain chemical that makes us feel happy and content.
When you eat a wholesome meal, your body is notified through the release of serotonin that you’re well fed, helping you feel content and satisfied.
But a lack of this important neurotransmitter leads to depression, anxiety and food cravings.
Why am I depressed?
From a nutritional standpoint, a lack of serotonin is frequently a result of food reactions.
Food sensitives can literally rob you of serotonin. Reactions to certain common foods can decrease your serotonin level and make you crave sugar and other refined carbohydrates.
When you eat a food you’re sensitive to it enters your system as macromolecules that your body doesn’t recognize, triggering an inflammatory response, which results in swelling and bloating. Then your body releases endorphins, which give a feeling of relief along with a “high.” But when those endorphins wear off, you crash and feel the need to eat this reactive food again so that you can get the endorphin release again.
To complicate matters, your adrenal hormones rush to the rescue to help your body cope with the allergic reaction. But they also contribute to the initial high and the ultimate crash.
Eventually, your body becomes depleted of serotonin because the white blood cells that help to transport the neurotransmitter are busy dealing with the inflammatory reactions in your body.
Boost your mood by boosting your serotonin
If you’re a “carbohydrate craver,” it may feel virtually impossible to break the cycle. But one proven way to break out of the carb rut is simply to step outdoors. The sunlight naturally boosts serotonin levels. Moderate exercise such as brisk walking will raise your levels too so a power walk around the park or even the block can send your serotonin levels back in the right direction.
Next, begin to identify food allergens in your diet and eliminate them.
The 7 most commonly reactive foods are…
- and eggs.
One easy way to pinpoint food reactions is by taking your pulse rate before and after you eat. Adrenal hormones cause your heart rate to increase. If your pulse is elevated after you eat, chances are you’e eaten a reactive food.
Food reactions harm your metabolism more than any other single dietary factor. They slow the metabolic rate. They increase the hormones that cause weight gain. They create hypoglycemia. They depress energy. They also contribute to illness.
Seek out serotonin boosting nutrients
Supplements that will help increase your serotonin levels along with your mood and your energy levels are…
a good balanced B-complex vitamin with at least 50 milligrams of B-6, along with 100-200 micrograms of selenium.
5-HTPis a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan and the precursor to serotonin. It’s best taken in small doses throughout the day as it is not stored in the body.
St. John’s Wort:
My favorite serotonin-enhancing supplement is St. John’s Wort, but it has to be fairly high quality to get good results.
Also, be sure to get plenty of sunlight to increase your natural levels of vitamin D and remember to walk outside at least 20 minutes per day.
Margaret Durst has been involved with natural health for over 20 years. In her early 30s, she was faced with a medical diagnosis that recommended a lifetime of prescription drugs. In her heart, she knew that there must be an alternative way to healing and health and thus began her journey into natural health.
Along the way, Margaret has trained with many different natural health practitioners and earned a degree in Naturopathy. She established her nutritional consulting practice and opened The Green House in 2003 to enable her mission of helping people navigate the natural health maze.
People have praised Margaret for intuitive ability to help people address their health issues and goals with diet and lifestyle choices and successfully take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. This comes from Margaret’s deeply held beliefs in the body’s innate ability to heal and in the tools nature provides for health and healing.
As for the “Natural Cowgirl” nickname, Margaret spends all her spare time riding and loving her horses. She has also become a pretty good natural equine healer helping one of her horses recover from EPM.
Visit Margaret and follow her blog on her NaturalCowgirl website.
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