By: Maria Wilson
A recent Harvard Health Blog from September 18, 2022, has some highly interesting
information. If you have heard the word serotonin before it probably was pertaining to the
brain in some way. However, what many people don’t know is that 95% of that
neurotransmitter is produced in our stomach. Why is that important? Well, strangely enough
the experts on nutrition have been right all along! The vitamin industry is so big now I have
honestly wondered if it wasn’t just another strategy to get our money. They do make tons of
money, but at least they are promoting natural supplements as compared to the big pharma
Serotonin is essential to our overall health in many ways. It promotes good sleep, keeps pain at bay, regulates our appetite and even our moods. If you have ever been on a mood stabilizer before for depression or mania; you know how vital that is to our mental health. Our gut is our ticket to controlling our emotions better. It is our natural mood stabilizer. We just need to make sure we eat quality food to reap the best benefits.
Dr. Selhub, the writer of the previously mentioned article, makes a vivid analogy comparing our stomach to a car. If you have an expensive car you need to buy the most expensive or top-quality gas for it. She goes on to say that people, like cars, operate at our prime with better fuel. Luckily for us, healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive. Fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats, and fish won’t run up your grocery bill like cookies, cakes, pies, and other processed foods. High amounts of sugar not only cause inflammation in your body, but it increases depression. That is why The Mediterranean Diet had its day in the sun, so to speak. It looks like those individuals who live in areas of the world that eat fish, fruits, and vegetables daily are just plain happier than most of us in the United States. Also, they limit the amount of sugar they eat, no pies, cakes, candy, etc. Not a lot of packaged food is bought and it may even be less available. Instead, they eat the natural sugar in foods like oranges, apples, and peppers.
I personally have struggled all my adult life with depression. Also, when I was a vocational
counselor; I noticed more and more young people experiencing mental health issues. It really has become an epidemic in our country. Where there is life there is hope. Hungry at the grocery store? Pick up a banana or apple to eat in the car and avoid those donuts.Put down those potato chips. No one can make healthy choices for you. You have to be the one to change yourself. Don’t you think you’re worth it?
If you would like further support in your healthy journey, join us at Positive Pathways on Tuesdays at 4:00 PM. I lead the group Hungry for Healthy, where we share tips for eating healthy, recipes, ideas for achieving overall health and wellness. In the group, we all support one another to meet our personal wellness goals. I hope you'll join us and we can't wait to see you there!