Kit | Stressed & Depressed
Symptoms and signs:
- Poor motivation and ‘get-up-and-go’
- Tendency to depression
- Feeling less positive than before
- Using sugar and refined carbs for comfort
- Late-night binges or overeating sessions
- Sleeping issues
- Wanting to withdraw from the world
- Suffering Seasonal Affective Disorder
Stress creates an immediate rise in the feel-good brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin, but cause crashes later, leading to mood drops and cravings for sugar as a quick-fix pick-up and an increasing reliance on sweet foods to ‘feel normal’.
These craving cycles also cause weight gain, which can lower self-esteem and feed into habits of bingeing and/or overeating.
HOW TO FIX IT:
1. Get your fish oils
DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, is known to be essential for serotonin and dopamine levels.
Low dopamine and serotonin are linked to depression and other mental health issues. Eat oily fish twice a week or take an algae DHA like Opti-3 if you are vegetarian or vegan.
2. Increase beta-endorphins
Natural opioids or ‘beta-endorphins’ are produced in response to laughing, music, socializing, hugs and sex, a fabulous reward system for keeping the species going.
Sugar raises these too, so can be even more difficult to give up when we aren’t creating our own.
See the advice for stressed and bloated above.
Even if you don’t have those symptoms, there’s a strong gut-brain connection.
Evidence shows replenishing probiotic gut bacteria also helps alleviate mild depression, as inflammation starts in the gut, is triggered by stress and has depressive effects on the brain.