It’s not just your waist line eating a poor diet can impact upon. Research now suggests that depression and dementia are affected by the quality of our diets. Indeed, studies from countries as diverse as Norway, Spain, Japan, China, England, America and Australia show people whose diets are healthier are less likely to experience depression. Research also shows that people who eat a more unhealthy diet, high in junk foods are at increased risk of depression. Processed foods – high in sugar, fat, salt foods - not only undermine your optimal nutritional status, but impact upon our mental wellbeing.
So, it really is true you are what you eat. Most people fail to realize that your gut is quite literally your second brain, and actually has the ability to significantly influence your mind, mood and behavior. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain! So it actually makes perfect sense that eating a healthy diet to nourish your gut flora for optimal serotonin function will have a profound impact on your mood, psychological health, and behaviour. In fact, recent studies have shown foods and drinks rich in probiotics can play a role in curbing social anxiety in young adults.
Aim to include fermented foods in your diet on a regular basis. You can try making some of these foods yourself or visit your local health food store, they generally to stock a large range. It won’t just be your digestive system that reaps the rewards.
- Natural Yoghurt and Coconut Yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 1 medium green cabbage, shredded
- 1 1⁄4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup apple cider
- 1⁄2 cup water, to taste (use less water if you like it more tangy)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
- Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat and cook onion, stirring constantly, until it begins to soften and turn translucent.
- Add cabbage, cider, vinegar, water, salt and caraway seeds and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. Add a little water if it gets too dry.
- This can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.