Can Whole30 help with depression?
For years the medical field treated the body and mind as separate entities, diagnosing and treating them separately. It’s until recently that more medical professionals acknowledge the mind-body connection. Mind-Body Connection is the belief that the causes, development, and outcomes of a physical illness are determined from the interaction of psychological, social, and biological factors.
Today, we have a better understanding of the many consequences and correlations between what you eat and how you feel, both mentally and physically. Food doesn’t just affect your physical health but it also affects your mental well being. For example, 70% of your immune system is in your gut. For optimal immune health, a healthy gut is important. Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur within the body. The main tasks of the body’s immune system are:
- Fight disease-causing germs like bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi, and to remove them from the body,
- Recognize and neutralize harmful substances from the environment,
- Fight disease-causing changes in the body, such as cancer cells.
So how does diet affect your mood?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite, mood, and inhibit pain. Roughly 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also regulate your emotions. The production of serotonin is influenced by the good bacteria in your guts microbiome and one of the factors that affects the good bacteria are the foods you eat.
There is overwhelming evidence supporting the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle for: preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer, lowering inflammation, and mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety. Diet plays an important role in mental health, so much so that it has inspired an entire field of medicine called nutritional psychiatry.
If you’ve been struggling with depression and mental wellbeing. Give Whole30 a try, the program is only 30 days and what you discover may be life changing. You deserve to feel good mentally and physically.