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The Surprising Link Between These Foods and Depression Anxiety and other mental health problems

Macaroni and Cheese Hot Fudge Sundae and other comfort food It became our solution during the pandemic. To help brighten our days and alleviate the loneliness of the night. Unfortunately, the things in these guilty pleasures can make blue moods and other mental health problems worse, not better, as researchers continue to uncover a link between what we eat and how we feel. our

increasing mental health problems

The number of Americans seeking help for depression and anxiety rose sharply to 93 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, although some may be blamed for the impact of COVID-19. Mental health continued to increase for many years.

In fact, 40 million Americans deal with some mental health problem. That̵

7;s more than the population of New York and Florida combined. These disorders list the most common causes of death and disability. Suicide score is the top cause of death. regardless of age group

Uma Naidoo, a psychiatrist at Harvard University, told CBN News: “We need to understand that the silent pandemic is related to mental illness — people are becoming more depressed. is more blue poor sleep I felt extremely stressed and traumatized by everything that happened,” she said.

it’s food

meanwhile Three-quarters of Americans are overweight or obese. As it turns out, there is a link between skyrocketing weight gain and a sharp rise in mental health problems, according to Naidoo and a growing number of mental health professionals. The same diet that triggers weight gain can lead to depression. anxiety and other mental health problems

Dr. Naidoo founded and supervises the first hospital Nutritional Psychiatry Service in the United States. She is director of nutrition and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital while serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. This is Your Brain on Food: The Essential Guide to Surprising Foods That Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More..

“The food we call comfort food really is. It’s uncomfortable for our brains,” she said.

For this reason, Dr Naidoo is one of the growing number of psychiatrists and mental health professionals. that uses healthy food to treat patients

“Not that people One shouldn’t go to the doctor and take medication if needed,” she explains. “But we can start today at the end of the fork by choosing healthier ways to eat our food.”


Doctor Naidu said that a healthy brain starts with a healthy gut.

“Basically the gut and brain,” she explains, “although they are in different parts of the body, they actually arise from the same cells in the embryo. Then they divide and become these two organs. Then they will be connected for life.”

That key connection, the gut-brain axis, is a two-way expressway that continuously sends chemical messages back and forth through the vagus nerve. For better or worse, chemicals are determined by the type of bacteria, good or bad, found in the gut.

“When we feed those microbes with sugar, Lots of refined sugar lots of soft drinks The unfortunate thing is that bad microbes are fed. and when they are fed sugary food They will defeat good microorganisms,” said Dr Naidu.

Sugar is bad, vegetables are good.

Several studies, including MRI images that show excessive sugar consumption exacerbates depression and anxiety. Dr Naidu said processed foods are loaded with sugar. Even the food that seems unsweetened

“Unfortunately, things like french fries from fast food restaurants are actually made with added sugar,” she says. “We didn’t taste that. But they are made to be very appetizing. So beware of hidden sugars.”

Believe it or not, many fake sugars have a disproportionate effect on the gut. or in some cases worse than real sugar.

“Unfortunately, many artificial sweeteners can drive anxiety. make depression worse and destroy the intestinal microflora,” she said.

Your doctor recommends adding colorful vegetables, such as leafy greens, which contain folate.

“Folate when the brain is low. It can lead to depression,” she said.

She advises patients to eat foods high in antioxidants, such as blueberries and green tea.

“We are fighting oxidative stress,” she explains, “which is really good. and much better for our mental health.”

She tells her psychiatric patients to eat lots of healthy fats, like olive oil, avocados, and things like salmon and walnuts, which are high in omega-3 fats.

It’s not just depression and anxiety. An

Dr. Naidoo believes that in addition to alleviating depression and anxiety, This approach can also benefit Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar Disorder, and Neuropsychological Challenges. other mental health

“It doesn’t exclude medication when needed,” she explains, “but it gives individuals additional tools in their toolkit to really enhance their mental health.”

An added benefit is that a healthy diet can increase the effectiveness of medications.

in her book This is Your Brain on Food: The Essential Guide to Surprising Foods That Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More.Dr. Naidu lists foods that can help relieve some mental health problems. She also has a number of recipes that specifically address mental health issues.

Here are the three formulas in 700 CLUB:

delicious vegetable soup
– fight depression

This soup contains nuts for magnesium. Broccoli for iron and sweet potatoes for vitamin A It is low in saturated fat and high in fiber and antioxidants.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 leek, shredded
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli
1 peeled sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt, more if needed
1 teaspoon black pepper, more if needed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
4-6 cups hot vegetable stock or filtered water
chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until the leek is soft and almost translucent.
  • With peas, broccoli florets, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, basil and dried parsley Then let it cook. Stir the ingredients 1-2 times for 3-5 minutes. Once the vegetables are partially cooked. Add vegetable stock Partially cover the lid and let the soup simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Frittata Mushroom and Spinach
– fight anxiety

(gluten-free, dairy-free)

This easy-to-make frittata has mushrooms for added vitamin D and spinach for magnesium. You can store lunch slices for the next 2 days or keep them for up to a month in the freezer.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes

5 whole eggs
1 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup spinach (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 cup roasted mushrooms


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 9-inch round rice cooker dish with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, beat eggs with milk, salt, pepper and parsley and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • If using frozen spinach to be wrapped in loincloth (or clean dish towels or paper towels) and squeeze to remove excess water.
  • Fry the spinach and mushrooms in the oil until the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  • Place the cooled spinach, mushroom, and spinach mixture in a casserole dish. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. cover with foil Then bake until the eggs are set, 15-18 minutes. Ovens are different. So make sure to set the eggs before you take the frittata out of the oven. Cut it into 6 equal pieces and serve.

Nut and Berry Pudding
– fight wounds

(vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free)

Chia pudding is a great way to start the day and it doesn’t require any morning preparation. Because it has to be refrigerated overnight. So you can prepare it the night before and eat it anywhere.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes

1/2 cup canned organic coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tbsp chia seeds
raspberries, blueberries, walnuts, or other fruit


  • Pour the coconut milk into the mason jar. Stir together honey, vanilla and cinnamon and sprinkle chia seeds on top.
  • Tighten the lid of the jar and shake well to mix the seeds with the milk.
  • Refrigerate overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Served with nuts and berries

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