How Inflammatory Diets Can Affect Depression
When part of your body is inflamed, that is because it is responding to an injury or a disease. The redness you see in your hand when it gets cut is the natural inflammation caused by the injury. That tells you that your body is fighting back and the antibodies and other healing agents are trying to do their best to get your body back into shape.
Why is Inflammation caused by your diet?
But if your body is constantly inflamed, then that can cause serious medical problems for you. And many times, the foods you eat cause your body to stay in an inflamed state, as your body constantly has to fight back against the damage these foods are causing and the way they make your body feel.
What are those foods? They include sugars, trans-fats, refined white bread, alcohol, greasy foods like fries and cheeseburgers, some dairy products, gluten, and MSG. All of these can attack your body is some form or the other.
You likely already know the damage that alcohol and greasy foods have on your body. Your antibodies and other healing mechanisms have to go into overdrive to repair that damage. But other foods can have a similar effect. If you have a sensitivity to dairy or gluten, then your body also becomes inflamed as it tries to handle them and their negative effects as well.
Of course, not everyone is going to be affected in the same way by the same foods. Gluten will only prove irritating to less than one percent of the population while dairy is tolerated by a large majority as well. But the important thing to note is that certain foods will make your body react adversely, and there are consequences to those effects that you may not fully understand.
And many of the foods listed above are common parts of the average diet. Now that you know that they can inflame your body, you may be interested to know the long-term effects of inflammation on your body.
Inflammatory Diets and the Link to Depression
Now if your body is constantly fighting against the effects of a poor diet, it is going to be agitated. That can lead to a loss of sleep, mood swings and even a loss of appetite. These are all common factors that lead to depression. While no direct link between depression and inflammation has been proven yet, the research strongly suggests that a link exists there. It may just be a matter of time before researchers can say with certainty that too many greasy foods, too much alcohol and too many trans-fats are what is putting a growing number of people into depressive states.
We already know that too much unhealthy foods are not good for us. And we know that many of them cause the body to become inflamed. We also know that the long-term effects of constant inflammation are severe.
We mentioned some of the most important effects above like the loss of sleep. We already know that many of these effects of inflammation are symptoms that are linked to depression. But whether depression causes these symptoms or these symptoms cause depression is something that is not fully understood yet.
The Solution: An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
But would it not be great if people suffering from depression could reverse that disorder as simply as changing what they eat? Well, the answer is going on an anti-inflammatory diet by eating whole foods such as fibre, tomatoes, and vegetables. We already know that people who eat healthily tend to feel better and be happier. Now, this may be a predisposition they have that also pushes them to eat healthily, but it could very well be linked to what they are eating. At the very least, you will improve your quality of life by eating healthier.
And while you don’t need to eliminate completely the foods that are listed above, cutting back on them considerably can make all the difference in how you feel and how you live. Before you make major changes to your diet though, you should consult with an expert. A registered dietician will be able to devise a diet plan that fits you well and is suited to your lifestyle. If you are suffering from depression, conquering that problem might be as easy as making changes to what you eat.