26 May Healthy Eating and Depression: What’s the Connection?
Even prior to COVID-19, the number of people suffering from depression was already on the rise. While the traditional cures for depression have been counseling and medication, many are wondering if there may be more to this mental illness and if we need to take a different approach toward improving mental health.
Depression and Inflammation
At a time when some much information and technology is available to us, you would think we would be experiencing less depression as a society. Yet, it is clear that these sorts of things are not enough to prevent or to combat depression. Therefore, a number of studies have been conducted to try to learn more about this mental illness.
According to recent studies, there appears to be a link between depression and inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s natural response system when exposed to certain triggers. Common triggers causing inflammation include infections, injuries, and foreign compounds. Many do not realize, however, that inflammation can also be caused by things such as obesity, a high-sugar diet or a diet that is high in trans-fats.
Once inflammation sets in to your body, it begins to pump vast amounts of proteins through itself. One of these proteins is cytokines, which is a class of protein that is responsible for facilitating intercellular communication. When cycled through the body in large quantities, cytokines can throw off your hormonal balance and lead to depression. Therefore, the causes of your depression may be more related to what you eat than to anything else.
Treating the Source
In response to this research, some doctors and researchers are now experimenting with treating inflammation in patients with depression. So far, the research has shown that eating healthy in order to reduce inflammation can have a positive effect on depression. Just one more reason to eat healthy!