Recently I have been reading the book “You Can Fix Your Brain” by Dr. Tom O’Bryan. This book spoke to me when I went to the library this past weekend because I know that my nutrition has not been on point lately, and I need a kick in the pants to get it back. You see, the main reason why I was able to get off of my antidepressants after being on them for over 7 years is because I have cleaned up my nutrition.
I never knew the importance of food on mental health until I began listening to Melissa Ambrosini’s podcast, “The Melissa Ambrosini Show” back in July. I just always assumed that I would have to stay on medication for life and there was nothing, other than pills, that could stabilize my imbalanced hormones. But as I continued to listen to her show I began to realize that I could change my hormones, and it all started in the gut. This meant that I had to start viewing food as fuel and really monitor what I put into my body. I really cleaned up my act in the summer. I stopped eating so much sugary and processed foods, and I cut back on how much carbohydrates I ate. I saw a difference immediately. This change in nutrition, simply cutting out pastas, fast foods and sugar allowed me to go completely medication free at the start of 2019. However, recently I have been reaching for the sugary foods and eating the high- gluten pastas and I can feel it. I feel lethargic immediately afterwards and I have a depressive episode within a few hours. So I knew I needed to get back to how I was in the summer.
I am only a few chapters into his book but Dr. O’Bryan has already addressed some of the most important things I feel that people with mental health issues should know:
1) Gluten affects your opioid receptors. It causes you to feel really good while you eat it, until the amount of gluten causes your body to go numb to your natural happy hormones.
2) Sugar can cause your body to attack itself. This causes inflammation, which can ultimately affect the brain.
3) Cows milk also causes an autoimmune response, again affecting the chemistry in your brain.
In his book, Dr O’Bryan does not just address the nutritional aspect of holistic healing, but I think that it is the most important part. It just goes to show that although you may feel amazing while eating certain foods you should take note of how you feel afterwards because that is your body telling you something may be wrong. That is why before you eat anything make sure that your body will love it in the long run.
I really encourage you to listen to Ambrosini’s podcast to understand the importance of healing your body holistically. Even if you do need to stay on medication, fuelling your body properly may help you lower your dosage.
I also encourage you to do your own research before you make any decisions. Talk to your doctor and take things out of your diet slowly. This could be a major shock to your body, but it could also be the best decision you ever made. Lastly, I know that food can also be linked to a lot of positive experiences. I am not saying to never eat the foods you love (I sure do) but I encourage you to start treating your body like the temple it is, even if that means some treats every now and then.
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