Did you know our stomach has a tremendous amount of serotonin? And that when we take an anti-depressant, it is to begin increasing serotonin levels!
What if you could help ease your depression by eating foods that help your stomach to begin increasing serotonin. It would be cool, wouldn’t it? In the end, it would mean we could eventually do away with our tablets and focus on our digestive health.
I’m not a medical expert, but it seems to be the more junk we put in our system, the more our stomachs deteriorate, and why there is a high number of people who suffer IBS along with depression, there is no coincidence here. In my mind, this is to do with serotonin levels.
For one, I suffer from IBS and depression in Bipolar form, and I have had to educate myself to listen to my body and eat certain foods and not others. It is not your usual diet of healthy salads and veg, because my stomach will not tolerate these.
I have to eat a diet full of whole grains, orchard fruit and meat. If you are a vegan, the following will cover you too, minus the meat.
Increasing Serotonin Through Food
I can only eat what my tastebuds are craving at the time, or my IBS will start to kick in. You would think, given such free reign, my body would crave all the naughty stuff we are told we shouldn’t eat, such as chocolate and crisps. However, this is not the case.
Since I allowed my body to choose the food, it has gone with sandwiches. This is not ideal for some who want a wholesome meal at dinner time, but believe me, when I say, sandwiches are jam-packed with nutrients, essential in creating serotonin.
You can put nearly anything in a sandwich, so this is not a restrictive diet. This is about giving your body what it needs. Even if you only have a sandwich at lunchtime, it will help move you forward with your depression.
What Do You Get in A Sandwich?
The filling choice is up to you, but let me show you what you will get nutrition-wise in a cheese sandwich; I’m ignoring carbs and proteins, focusing on the vitamin and nutrients required to help fight depression. You can see my article on Lou Farrell for detailed nutrients.
- Wholegrain bread with seeds – potassium, vitamin B6, E, K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, manganese, selenium, thiamin, niacin, folate. Plus, there is even more, Omega 3 + 6. I haven’t even included the seeds yet. But suffice to say, you get many nutrients in a slice of bread. If you are gluten intolerant, then your bread will be fortified with this, hopefully.
- Spread of butter – Vitamin A, B6, B12, D, E, K, Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, thiamine, niacin, folate
- Cheddar cheese – potassium, Vitamin A, B6, B12, E, K, calcium, iron magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, thiamine, niacin, folate, amino acids, and a trace of fatty acids.
- Cheddar Substitute vegan cheese – I could not find anything apart from added vitamins, but nothing like natural cheeses. Avoid this in a sandwich; choose avocado.
- Baby Spinach – Vitamin A, B6, C, E, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, selenium, thiamine, niacin, folate, trace amounts of amino acids. Use a small amount of baby spinach as raw foods can affect IBS.
This is just a plain cheese sandwich without any pickle, which gives you much nutrition.
So you can see, a sandwich is better for you than a plate of salad because you get the carbs and protein you need; it is what the body requires to function. If you have depression, that is. But what about Serotonin?
Serotonin is produced in the gut and according to Healthline.com
Serotonin is made from the essential amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid must enter your body through your diet and is commonly found in foods such as nuts, cheese, and red meat. Tryptophan deficiency can lead to lower serotonin levels. This can result in mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression. – Healthline
You see, when I say a cheese sandwich and my body craves one, it is because I need serotonin. If you are a vegan, you will get your tryptophan through nuts and seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower.
If you are on Lithium, I would advise adding a packet of crisps for the salt content; see the sites article on Lithium.
Seratonin sends signals between nerve cells, and once again, I will refer to a medical journal.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and some also consider it a hormone. The body uses it to send messages between nerve cells. It appears to play a role in mood, emotions, appetite, and digestion. As the precursor for melatonin, it helps regulate sleep-wake cycles and the body clock. – Medical News Today
Hopefully, you will understand the importance the gut plays in illnesses such as depression, and it is vitally important to treat your belly with the same care as you take with your mind. Increasing serotonin is beneficial towards the treatment of depression.
Treating depression is best when done from a holistic action. It would help if you worked on a little bit of everything at the same time.
Peace & Blessings x