Depressed or Anxious? Look to your Gut! [Brain Maker by David Perlmutter]

Creating serotonin, aka the “Love Drug” is what we want to focus on creating every day.

It makes us feel warm and happy.  Unlike Dopamine, it’s sister feel-good hormone, serotonin isn’t associated no with a quick hit of happiness, but instead a constant state of well-being.  That’s what we are after, and it’s our natural state.

To become a serotonin-producing machine we need to starts by chipping away at all the bad habits that take us out of our natural state. A good place to start chipping is with our fundamentals.  Before chatting with a psychologist, you should ask yourself:

Today, I want to focus on our eating habits.  Did you know that 90% of your serotonin is created in our gut?  Not in our brain, but in our gut—shocking!   Knowing that should encourage us to focus on our eating habits whenever we feel anxious or depressed.    Nutrition research is still in its infancy;  experts say it’s like surgical research back in the 1950s.  So, it’s not surprising that nutritionists will disagree on the perfect diet.  In fact, many varying diets have proven to be successful when researchers study people that live the longest.   However, one diet that we know doesn’t work is our Western diet.  No nutritionist would argue that we need to eat real food, not too much and more green vegetables.

Before you eat always think to yourself how will this make me feel short term, medium term, long term?  Sugar and gluten will give you a dopamine hit similar to the hit of a hard drug  It will succeed in making you feel good at the moment but think how it will influence your energy and mood be throughout the day? How will your body look 50 years down the road if you continue your habits of chasing short-term gratification?

We are in this life for the long haul.  If we feel good and have energy throughout the day we will accomplish our goals on the athletic field, in the classroom, at work, and in our relationships!

Practical Application: