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mochac

Link between mental health and diet

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Has anyone here ever noticed a link between what they eat and their mental health? 

 

For a longtime I've suffered from a mild-to-moderate form of depression. It's not debilitating - rather it comes and goes in waves. It's not that I'm bipolar, but my mood goes from low to 'normal' (I define normal for myself as rationally optimistic) about once a week. There are periods of time where this is more pronounced than others.

 

On Sunday I fell into one of the deepest bouts of depression I've ever experienced. I just felt absolutely hopeless and profoundly sad. Today I'm feeling much better. Not 100%, but better. 

 

Now I know that as humans our ability to manage depression is limited. Perhaps there was nothing I could have done to prevent this depressive episode. But I have a hypothesis that may explain the cause - and while I'm going to test it out, I wanted to start a discussion about the link between diet and mental illness. 

 

I normally eat a paleo diet, specifically avoiding wheat and dairy. But on Friday and Saturday (before the depressive episode struck on Sunday) I consumed some pretty unhealthy meals that included rice, cheese, bread, and a lot of beer and sangria. 

 

Now it's not unusual for me to allow a day or two a week when I deviate from my diet. I'm at the point in my fitness journey where I don't feel the need to be incredibly strict. 

 

But I'm wondering if there was a causation involved in my particularly glutenous diversion from my normal diet and my depressive episode? 

 

That's what I'm going to find out.

 

I'm going to be 100% strict in my diet for the next two weeks. Then I'm going to isolate the two variables (wheat and dairy) by consuming wheat every day for a week, and then dairy every day for a week. Throughout I'll be tracking my mood. 

 

In the meantime, I'd love to have a conversation about this with all of you!

 

 

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I think if anything it'll be more mental than actually food based. 

 

When you don't eat well you can let old subliminal thoughts of 'this is bad, I'm failing' creep in and it could have a lasting impact on your overall mood and thoughts

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There is a link between diet and mental health. Personally, I can't eat too much rice because it really really brings me down.

It is all about to how the food you eat affects your gut biome which in turn affects your brain chemistry.

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For me, it's sugar and refined carbs that are the trigger. But even more than the food itself, I've developed a negative feedback cycle linked with overeating/binges. Whatever is going on in my gut in those cases certainly isn't good, but for me the depression is really fostered by the shame cycle.

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I was clinically depressed with generalized anxiety disorder for years. It went away completely 1 month after trying a gluten-free diet at a doctor's suggestion.

 

Foods can cause all sorts of inflammatory responses, some of which can affect the brain. Further, the bacterial ecosystem in the gut is showing to have a critical role in neurotransmitter production and mental health overall. ~80% of the body's serotonin is created in the gut. I can dig up some pubmed articles if y'all are interested. There was one interesting one where they improved depressive symptoms with yogurt (proper yogurt) and probiotic supplements. It's still very early days for this research but it seems promising.

 

There's one theory that suggests there is a bacteria in the gut that breaks down gluten, but is missing in many people these days due to overuse of antibiotics, cesare

an section*, and other practices the hurt the microbiome. 

 

*Baby's are bathed in their mother's bacteria when born traditionally, this is circumvented with a c-section. 

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