Here are some non-medical strategies for treating depression and anxiety:
Eat fresh, unprocessed nutritious food.
People who eat a diet high in fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, and whole grains are significantly less likely to be depressed or anxious than those who eat highly processed, sugary and fried foods and refined grain and drink beer and other alcohol.
Take supplements such as omega-3 fish oil. You need enough to get around 1000mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoicacid) a day.
A combination of zinc, vitamin B6 and magnesium is important for mood.
Get some sunshine – vitamin D – every day for a mood lift.
Get your heart rate up at least three to five times a week by doing uphill walking, dancing or fast yoga.
Accomplish something every day – something you’ve been putting off, like paying a bill.
Give yourself a treat every day – watch a movie, have a bubble bath, go for a swim or a walk.
Create a gratitude diary.
Are you piling on pounds?
The culprit could be calorie creep.
This is the sneaky extra calories that food manufacturers pack into their products.
High-calorie ingredients like palm oil and refined sugar are one instance. But, portion size is another. For example, a single cookie bought from a store is four inches across (much larger than the ones our grannies baked.)
Granted, some manufacturers are reducing portion sizes and high-calorie ingredients to attract health conscious customers.
But, the fact remains that many packaged foods today are higher-calorie than a few decades ago.
So, how do you keep those extra calories from creeping in?
One way is to limit your snacks to one hundred calories.
Here are some calorie rescue tactics:
- A piece of fruit (approx 50 calories) Tablespoon of Greek yoghurt (30 calories) 1 tsp maple syrup (20 calories) topped with toasted shredded coconut & sunflower seeds. Total: 100 calories.
- 2 cups home-made popcorn (cooked in oil) is 100 calories. Top with Tamari & bragg’s yeast. Be sure to measure 2 cups, it’s easy to go overboard!
- Rice cake with miso and avocado topping. Rice cakes are not nutrient dense but at only 35 calories a pop it makes a great base for toppings that are. Miso is fermented and The biggest benefit of miso is that it’s brimming with probiotics. Because miso is fermented, it’s filled with beneficial, live probiotic cultures that have many upsides. You can think of probiotics as the “good bacteria” that inhabit our gut environment and balance “bad bacteria” that we obtain from poor-quality foods, toxins in the environment, contaminated water, pollution and so on. Make sure it’s organic! 1 tbsp of miso yields 34 calories. Topped with thinly sliced avocado would total 100 calories.
The verdict is out.
A protein in wheat is responsible for inflaming the gut. In the past, scientists have focused mainly on gluten and it’s effect on digestive health.
But, according to research presented at one of the world’s most prestigious gastroenterology conferences (UEG, or United European Gastroenterology) in October 2016, the spotlight is now on a protein called AMI (it stands for amylase-trypson inhibitors).
Let’s just call it the culprit. It appears AMI can inflame not only the gut but through it the kidneys, lymph nodes and even the brain.
Why is this knowledge important? It’s because anything that causes inflammation in the gut has a negative effect over time on the mind.
Luckily we are living in an age where we have many choices besides wheat. I’ve written about a few here.
My clients are shocked and dismayed when they take stock and discover how much wheat and wheat based products they are eating.
Learning to read food labels is a great first step.
The real adventure begins when you decide to stop doing the ‘same old, same old’ and start exploring tasty and nutritious wheat alternatives.
Catch the wheat free wave!
- 1/3 of Americans say they are trying to eliminate wheat from their diet.
- Restaurants in the USA confirmed two million “wheat free” dishes were ordered last year.
- Gluten free items doubled in sales in the past five years.
- 15 billion dollars were spent consuming gluten free food.
If you want a sweetener with zero calories, choose Stevia. Why? Stevia is chemical free and does not inflame the gut. As a bonus, it also helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Read more here.
Did you know 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut? Serotonin is a neurotransmitter vital for proper brain function. When you produce serotonin in the right quantities, your thinking is clear and you feel positive and on top of things. Too little serotonin is linked to states of depression and anxiety.
So, when you care for your gut you actually help produce more serotonin. It’s worth putting effort into eating well for your gut’s and brain’s sake!
So, you’ve decided to repair your gut health. That means finding alternatives to grain. When I first started this food journey, trying to find the beat alternatives made my head spin. After weeks of research and many failed experiments these are my top picks.
Why? First, they’re seeds not grains. That means they don’t inflame the gut, making them easy to digest.
Second, because they’re unrefined they’re high in fibre and therefore cleanses the gut efficiently.
Once you know how, they’re really easy to prepare and a great substitute to grass grains. So, without further ado, let’s take a look.
- Amaranth – Contains B vitamins, calcium, iron and Vitamin C. Amaranth may help lower cholesterol.
- Buckwheat – Rich in flavonoids like rutin and a good source of magnesium, buckwheat is good for your cardiovascular system. It’s a valuable food for those with diabetes, as it can be helpful for regulating blood sugar.
- Millet – A good source of manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium, millet is beneficial for your heart.
- Quinoa – A good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, and riboflavin (B2). Quinoa may be helpful if you have migraines, diabetes or atherosclerosis.
The good news is these seeds are alkaline.
Eat no more than 1/2 cup (cooked) at one serving.
Fill your plate mostly with veges!
For non vegetarians add small amounts of fish or organic meat.