Depression has become an increasingly common problem in the United States. In fact, the number of people diagnosed with depression has skyrocketed in recent years. So it is important that we learn what we can do to reverse this tide.
According to a recent study that used federal data amassed from 2005 to 2014, an estimated 500,000 teens in the United States are experiencing depression. Alarmingly, more than three-quarters of those afflicted are girls. Additionally, nearly twice as many adult women are prescribed psychiatric drugs for depression than men.
One of the reasons researchers believe this is happening is because of the many stigmas cultivated by social media into our culture. Psychologist and author Catherine Steiner-Adair, says, “despite gains in employment, education, and salary, women, and girls are still continually bombarded by media messages, dominant culture, humor and even political figures about how they look — no matter how smart, gifted or passionate they are.”
One of the many ways we can help to control our vulnerability to depression is to eat right. Research has shown that diet can have a profound impact on our mental health. Abnormal gastrointestinal conditions have been linked to a range of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and schizophrenia.
As well, new information is leading researchers to believe gut inflammation is a significant contributor to the development of depression. One of the most effective ways to address this problem is by making better dietary choices.
In order to cultivate a healthy gut flora through diet, which helps to battle the onset of depression:
- Eat real food and avoid processed foods
- Eat traditionally fermented and cultured foods each day
- Eat plenty of fiber, found in most fruits and vegetables
- Boost consumption of healthy fats, such as avocados, MCT oil, coconuts and coconut oilNormalize your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio by increasing animal-based omega-3 from fish
Things to avoid when eating to defeat depression are:
- Chlorinated water
- Antibacterial soap
- Agricultural chemicals
By taking these simple steps, and learning more acutely how to maintain a healthy gut and diet, we can help to stave off depression, avoiding the pharmaceutical route of treatment altogether.
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