315 – Nutrition and Lifestyle for Depression and Anxiety Support

There is a lot that you can do for yourself when anxious or depressed.

Mood & Stress Support
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Jolie Root

Depression and anxiety affect millions of people and is highly disruptive to a happy and healthy life. There is a wide continuum between the most severe and the mild forms and where someone is on that continuum has everything to do with their path forward. Every person is unique and their solution is going to be unique to them. The causes of depression and anxiety vary widely and the possible solutions are just as varied.

Disclaimer: This interview is not about treating the disease of depression. Doctors and drugs treat disease. When you have a medical issue, see your doctor. Lifestyle and nutrition do not treat disease. They are both important but they are not the same. Drugs treat disease, nutrition nourishes the body. Don’t confuse the two. Not everyone needs medical intervention, but everyone needs good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. When a body receives the proper nutrients, the body can then do a better job of maintaining, restoring and re-balancing health.

Second important point: When we discuss clinical studies that show a benefit for a nutrient with a certain disease, that does not make the nutrient a drug. Any health benefits, from any nutrient with any disease is because the body can do amazing things when well nourished. It is always the body that heals. One of my goals is for my listeners to stop thinking about treating disease with nutrition. Instead think about how to most effective nourish the cells, tissues, organs and systems in the body. Nutrition benefits the structures and functions in the body. Identify where your body needs nutritional support and seek to intelligently explore your options.

Third important point: This can be a complex process of discovery. There are many nutrients that can be useful, some more than others. You should be open to exploring your options and often the best solution will be comprised of many parts. The best products are the ones that work best for you so be open to exploring different solutions. Consider lifestyle factors as well. While nutrition may arguably be the most important, we should never underestimate the importance of “simple” lifestyle choices. Nature’s Seven Doctors include fresh air, pure water, sunlight, healthy food, movement, sleep, and spiritual connection and/or mindfulness. If these are missing in your life, seek to build on the foundation of Nature’s Seven Doctors. Nature’s Seven Doctors is the title of a book written in 1962 by Dr. H.E. Kirschner. It is a simple book with a profound message.

In this interview with Jolie Root, we discuss this important topic of depression and anxiety. Jolie focuses on the importance first of the diet. Eating well is foundational and we discuss the Mediterranean diet as being a good model. We did an interview previously on the Mediterranean diet and you can listen to that interview.

We continue to consider some of the foundational nutrients that one should consider. Remember that we are seeking to nourish the brain and the gut as our targets. Each of these nutrients provides their own unique benefits. Here are some of the key nutrients to consider (there are others as well):

Marine Sourced Omega-3
  • Omega-3 from marine sources in a therapeutic dose of 2000 to 4000 mg. of EPA + DHA. Learn more from this previous interview with Jolie.
  • Vitamin D – expose your skin to the sun for a few minutes a day when you can.
  • Phosphatidylserine – Improves memory* and reduces Cortisol*. PS has an approved qualified health claim status with FDA. There are only a few nutrients that have this distinction.
  • Magnesium – reduces Cortisol* and inflammatory markers*.
  • PharmaGaba – This is a clinically studied and trademarked brand of Gaba. PharmaGaba has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Ashwagandha“Ashwagandha is also used as an “adaptogen” to help the body cope with daily stress*, and as a general tonic*. Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability*, decreasing pain* and swelling* (inflammation), and preventing the effects of aging*. From WebMD.

Here are some of the other nutrients that provide support. B-Vitamins, SAMe, Holy Basil herb, tryptophan, 5-HTP and probiotics. Explore the options and learn something about how these nutrients affect your brain and gut. Finding the best program and products takes time and patience. This is the process of you taking control of the process and becoming your own best advocate.

Employ Nature’s Seven Doctors, even when you don’t feel like it. The effects of these choices is cumulative and what you seek is to see that you are moving in the right direction along the continuum. Ongoing small incremental gains add up eventually to significant change. Learn what moves you forward and do that. Study, try, evaluate. Keep repeating until you find the solution. The best program is the one that works best for you. Seek and you will find.

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About Jolie Root
Jolie is the Senior Nutritionist/Educator at Carlson Laboratories. She began as a natural products retailer who evolved into a career in education in the health sciences. She is a nutritionist and a nurse. She understands both the science and the practical application of good nutrition for health. Jolie hosts a weekly radio show called Food for Thought which is heard in New York, Florida and online.


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