What the Kale? You Can Battle Depression and Anxiety Through Your Diet?
All too often we look for doctors and pharmaceutical companies to aid us when we are feeling low or high-strung. We often think that there must be a disconnection or lacking ability somewhere in the brain for our bodies to properly produce and mechanize the neurotransmitters we need to feel good. But have we questioned that it may not be our bodies inability to produce/ properly mechanize our neurotransmitters? Maybe we don’t need to add a man-made compound of chemicals to do the work (which also causes quite a bit of side effects), maybe we need to see what is lacking in our bodies to heal itself and get the brain back in working order.
Vitamin C. From the time we are small we always hear that this vitamin is what keeps us from getting colds, so eat your oranges. But have you ever heard of it being a preventative treatment for anxiety and depression? Most likely not, as I didn’t either until I took it upon myself to do some research.
Unfortunately, I am an unwilling subscriber and all too familiar guest at the anxiety and depression dinner party. (Hey, sometimes you can’t pick all of the genes you were awarded) After taking high doses medication for a few years, and honestly not seeing much turn-around other than the sake of time, I decided that this probably was not the answer for me. It wasn’t until I began juicing regularly and practicing good exercise and sleep patters that I really noticed the symptoms decrease and practically fade away.
(Also allow me to clarify on symptoms, if you can name it, I’ve got it. I promise. Shaking hands, sweating constantly, so tired I could fall asleep standing up but when it’s bedtime I’m WIDE awake, waking up in the middle of the night, heart beating out of my chest, extreme irritability, and then feeling downright depressed)
So after my last juicing adventure, I took a bit of a hiatus for the Chicago summer and those all too familiar feelings started creeping back in on me. Realizing a. I don’t want to fall to a poor diet and b. my mental health is something I take serious, I figured why not do what worked last time, juice. Within 1 short week my symptoms have lifted dramatically.
Now my next question was, what could I have possibly been deficient in that was making my anxiety levels so high? A hop to the internet an behold- VITAMIN C! “Vitamin C?!”, I thought. Well, I haven’t juiced a single orange yet, so I wanted to know where is all of this coming from? Greens. Greens my friends.
Now for the guidelines:
The recommended daily dose for adults is: 60 mg per day
But… The International Journal of Sports Medicine recommends 1500 mg per day for athletes to keep there stress levels regulated. So it looks like if you’re active you can really amp up your intake. And I would venture, if you happen to be deficient this can too can apply to you.
Now for the heavy-hitters, this is what I eat often so that is what I researched (all cooked)
- Bok Choy. 44.2 mg per cup
- Broccoli. 50.6 mg per 1/2 cup
- Cabbage. 28.1 mg per 1/2 cup
- Kale. 53.3 mg per cup
And for the record, oranges do rein supreme- 69.7 mg in one medium raw orange.
Bok Choy everyday keeps the SSRI’s away!