Food for Thought

GUEST BLOG by Nicki Crompton.

In this blog, we’ll be looking at:

  • My Experience with Food and Depression
  • Food and Mood
  • Benefits of Food.

My Experience with Food and Depression

I would say that Dave (my husband and founder of Huckleberrygrove.com) was a fussy eater, he was not one for a fruit or a veg, but I feel I converted him somewhat over the years. When Dave was very poorly with crippling anxiety and depression, food was the last thing on his mind. He would only really eat beige food – a cheese toastie to be precise – and that was if it would shoved right under his nose.

Depression and anxiety can affect our eating habits. It’s important not to beat ourselves up if we are suffering and eating too much or too little, but we should try our best to improve where we can.

I used to watch a programme called Food Hospital (I think? It was years ago) that literally cured people of things like skin conditions and bowel problems by changing your diet. It was right up my street as I’m a firm believer in you are what you eat and how food can cure or aide ailments, so because of Dave and what he was going through, I started to research foods that help with depression and anxiety.

I found lots of great things that thankfully Dave would eat. Beetroot, being one, as it contains betaine which helps your brain maintain dopamine and serotonin levels. Also, if you eat enough, it also makes your wee purple so score! Beetroot risotto anyone?

Studies show that betaine found in vegetables like Beetroot, can aid brain functions and help with depression.

Food and Mood

Mind’s website have a section called ‘Food and Mood’, which explores the relationship between what you eat and how you feel. The web page suggests the advice we’re all familiar with, such as drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day and eat 5 fruit and veg a day, but they also suggest we pay attention to our gut.

The website states “Sometimes your gut can reflect how you are feeling emotionally. If you’re stressed or anxious this can make your gut slow down or speed up. For healthy digestion you need to have plenty of fibre, fluid and exercise regularly.” “Healthy gut foods include fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, beans, pulses, live yoghurt and other probiotics.”

Certain types of food can help with digestion and the health of our guts. This in turn has an affect on our brains.

This ties in with a blog Dave previously researched and wrote, called The Gut Brain Connection – Who Knew? Where he looked at how your gut-brain connection can affect your mental health.

Coming back to food (my favourite subject), there are many foods, mainly fruit and vegetables, that are good for your blood, heart and other organs, but there are also spices that help too. Here is a link to a very interesting website that looks at the health benefits of turmeric.

Spices like Turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in many ways in cooking and taken as a supplement.

Their website states “There is now an abundance of research suggesting that depression is an inflammatory disease that develops as a result of chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress”. They also state that “Turmeric has a well-documented status as one of the best over the counter anti-inflammatory agents. Also, curcumin’s (yellow pigment found primarily in turmeric) antioxidant properties can help reduce oxidative stress, a primary cause of depressive disorders.

So there you go, look after your gut and it will look after you 🙂

4 Replies to “Food for Thought”

    1. Thanks Jan, really appreciate the comment, I’m with you, didn’t really think that much about it before!
      Dave x

  1. Thanks Nicki. Really interesting article. I needed a reminder on this as although there’s information out there you often forget to put this into practice. Also as you say when you’re depressed your interest in food is the first thing to go This will help me get back on track un my quest to keep up my wellbeing planner and considering some healthier choices. Top tip re beetroot too. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Thanks Karen. Yes, my interest in food totally disappeared. Great news you’re getting back on track with your wellbeing planner!
      Thanks again
      Dave x

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