Diet Changes That Boost Mental and Emotional Wellness

By on July 11, 2018
Diet Changes That Boost Mental and Emotional Wellness

By Erin Chamerlik –

Depression, mental wellness is one of the most prevalent and costly medical conditions in the world.

There is research to prove and support what forward-thinking health practitioners are teaching – we can end depression and anxiety without medication.

Whole body wellness begins with nutrition.

It is well known that there is a clear association between diet quality and the risk for depression.

Whole Foods Help Reduce Depressive Symptoms

A three-month long study published in 2017 in the international journal BMC Medicine, showed that adults with major depressive disorder experienced a 30% reduction in their depressive symptoms by focusing on the quality of their diet compared to 8% of those who only received social support.

Participants were given instruction to increase consumption of whole foods including lean red meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, olive oil, and nuts.

At the same time, these individuals were instructed to reduce consumption of unhealthy foods such as sugary drinks, fast-food, fried food, boxed cereal, sweets, and other processed food.

Food is much more than fuel for the body.

In her book, A Mind of Your Own, Kelly Brogan, MD lists 24 scientific studies supporting the idea that dietary change is a powerful means for treating cognitive impairment, anxiety and depression.

  1. Eat the right kind of unprocessed carbs. Fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds. Some people may be able to include certain gluten-free grains like rice and quinoa. Colorful vegetables are loaded with nutrients that will help support good moods. Vegetables are a source of carbohydrates that do not spike blood sugar. Include vegetables at every meal, consuming 4 or more cups per day.
  2. Stop eating processed and packaged food. By eliminating processed foods you will be able to stay away from refined flour, sugars, industrially processed vegetable oils (corn, soy, canola, peanut, cotton, safflower, sunflower), dye and preservatives.
  3. Eat quality protein daily. Enjoy high quality animal products and wild fish. When animals are raised roaming free on organic pastures we can enjoy the health benefits that come from consuming red meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Protein foods supply the amino acids needed for happy brain chemicals, neurotransmitters. Enjoy three to four ounces of protein per meal.
  4. Eat Omega-3 foods and take a supplement. To feel your best, you must feed your brain high quality fats. Omega-3 fats are a wonder food for the brain. The best Omega-3 fats are found in wild salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel. Grassfed animal foods also have omega-3 fats, but supplementing with 2 – 3 tsp of Cod Liver Oil or Fish Oil will keep your omega-3 levels up in the optimal range.
  5. Eat quality fats at every meal. Your brain is made mostly of fat and cholesterol. Nerves need saturated fat to send signals properly. We have been wrongly avoiding healthy saturated fat because we were told it was bad. There is no association between the consumption of saturated fat and coronary artery disease. However, consuming trans fats is a risk for coronary heart disease (Am J Epidemiol. 1997 May 15;145(10):876-87). Enjoy eating healthy saturated fats like grass-fed butter, raw cheese, pastured egg yolks, grass-fed meat. Other healthy fats include avocados, olives, coconut and the oils from these foods.

It is time to consider that depression is not a disease but it is a symptom that can be treated naturally. Dietary intervention is the first step.

In my practice, I also help women remove the toxins from their environment, work on improving hormonal balance, sleep and using natural supports like supplements, herbs and essential oils.

 

Erin Chamerlik, MS. is a health and nutrition educator located in Nashville, TN.

Connect with Erin by visiting GetBetterWellness.com 

About Erin Chamerlik

Erin Chamerlik is a health and wellness educator. She is a mentor and coach for people who are ready to change. Her company, Get Better Wellness, Inc., is based in Nashville, TN. Erin extends her message through blogging, podcasts, social media (Twitter, FaceBook, Pinterest and Instagram), workshops and on-line webinars and Facebook health communities. Connect with Erin at getbetterwellness.com

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Diet Changes That Boost Mental and Emotional Wellness