(NaturalHealth365) You can prevent and stop depression by improving your gut health. The idea that chronic inflammation causes depression resonates with scientists who look at the mind-body connection. Since chronic inflammation is a condition that has many health ramifications – it is a link that is well worth exploring.
Recent studies have shown that inflammation may be involved in depression; research has demonstrated that depression is associated with gastrointestinal inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
The incredible connection between chronic stress, inflammation and depression
Peggy Zoccola, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio University and her team found when their study participants were asked to dwell on a stressful experience, their C-reactive protein levels rose. C-reactive protein is a marker of tissue inflammation and the more you have the more inflammation you will experience.
This is the first study to measure the effects of rumination on the body. Rumination means to focus attention on bad feelings and experiences from the past. Worry is to be concerned with potential bad events in the future. Ruminating is staying in the past, while worrying is looking at the future in a negative way.
C-reactive protein is produced by the liver; it is the preliminary inflammatory response of the immune system. Exposure to stress, trauma or infection leads to a rise in C-reactive protein.
Chronic stress is emerging from the shadows as the force behind inflammation
Stress and negative emotions are daily occurrences, which have clear endocrine, and immune consequences. Chronic, low-grade inflammation is involved in many age-related diseases such as, frailty, disability, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research is looking at the possibility that depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of chronic inflammation. And, science is telling us, there is a very real gut-brain connection and an increasing number of clinical studies have shown that treating gastrointestinal inflammation with probiotics, vitamin B, D, and omega-3 fatty acids seems to improve the gut – while improving the mood.
How to eliminate depression without toxic drugs
One of the primary causes of inflammation may be the dysfunction to the “gut-brain axis”. Not only is the gut sometimes thought of as the second brain – it is also created from the identical tissue as the brain during gestation. While at the same time, it contains larger amounts of the neurotransmitter serotonin – the “feel good” hormone.
The gut is very vulnerable and dependent on your diet, it is where the bacteria resides that can either keep you healthy or cause inflammation throughout the body. Microflora made up of bad bacteria and yeast not only causes systemic symptoms, but may be the leading cause of depression.
One of the reasons sugar is implicated in depression is it depletes vitamins and minerals, but it also feeds the bad bacterial and yeast. A great book about how diet influences mood is “The Sugar Blues” by William Duffy. He associated sugar with a profound effect on your mental state, and it does this by acting as fertilizer for pathogenic bacteria in your gut.
Depression means you must clean up your diet first – before you try other interventions. A whole food diet – rich in quality fats (i.e. coconut oil); protein and plenty of organic vegetables will nourish the brain and every other organ system.
The value of living in the “present moment”
Mindfulness means staying in the present moment and research is now being focused on its power to curtail depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
In a recent study led by J. David Creswell, assistant professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, mindfulness revealed itself as a therapeutic powerhouse with far-reaching effects on psychological and physical health – significantly reducing the pro-inflammatory gene expression and the measure of C-reactive protein.
Creswell said, “It is amazing…for the first time, we are seeing that a behavior practice – paying attention to your experience from moment to moment – has the power to change the gene expression in your immune cells.”
By staying in the moment, you also become aware of what you are eating. Simply put, mindful eating is a key component to properly feeding the body. And, let’s face it, being mindful helps us to respond (better) to the “negative forces” of our external world.
Mindfulness takes practice as does healthy eating, but by practicing both it can lead to reduced stress; enhanced mood and improved cognition. These methods are clinically proven to be sustainable, safe, and efficient – while providing remarkable benefits.
About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.
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