I am a holistic and integrative mental health provider. That means I think it is important to look at all the ways our mood can be improved. One powerful tool we have to improve our mood and manage depression and anxiety is nutrition. Research is pointing to a strong connection between the gut and the parts of our brain responsible for mood.
If you spend a few minutes at the grocery store, you quickly notice that gluten is not a well liked substance. "Gluten Free" signage abounds. Why? Gluten is a substance that can be toxic and cause some serious havoc on our digestive system. It is a protein found in wheat and for those that are sensitive, this toxin may also impact mood, especially depression and anxiety. So how exactly can wheat impact our brain? Gluten contains polypeptides, these bind to receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for the feelings associated with pleasure, similar to the natural high we feel sometimes after exercise. Because gluten causes a reaction and inflammation in the gut, our gut bacteria and health can get out of balance. Also, when our gut is unhealthy, is it difficult to absorb nutrients, especially those that are needed for our mood health such as vitamin D, vitamin B and zinc. Interestingly, the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for our mood, especially symptoms of depression, is largely produced in the gut. William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly, writes about the powerful central nervous system effects of wheat, describing its effect similar to alcohol with mind altering and addictive qualities.
Many find that eliminating gluten can improve mood, anxiety and energy level. It may be one approach to explore in targeting symptoms of depression and anxiety. What can you do today to improve your gut and mind health? Focus on whole food nutrition to keep that gut brain happy and healthy.
Interested in taking steps towards reducing your anxiety and improving mood? Let's work together to decrease anxiety, improve mood, energy and comprehensive wellness with nutrition, activity and cognitive therapeutic support.
I look forward to working with you! For more nutrition, health, fitness, mental health and wellness info contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in an integrative health approach? Check us out at SageMED.co to learn more about our amazing team and schedule today, 425-679-6056.
"The greatest medicine of all is teaching people how not to need it." Hippocrates Marrie is an integrative mental health therapist and health and wellness coach. She is passionate about preventative care, wellness and living a healthy, active, happy and balanced life.