Last week I talked about how inflammation in your gut creates anxiety. Today I wanted to deep dive into the “foods” I see as the most common mood killers.
Dairy, gluten, and sugar are the culprits.
Are you surprised?
These three bad boys will absolutely zap your mood AND create anxiety.
While they may make you feel good while you’re eating them, because, let’s be realistic, who doesn’t love a crust piece of French bread, or a delicious, warm slice of apple pie on a crisp fall day.
I think everyone can agree that all 3 of these foods are the most delicious.
But you know who doesn’t agree?
Your gut, your brain and your anxiety.
Now if you’re anything like I was … I needed to know WHY I couldn't eat them, if it was going to stand a chance at giving them the boot.
I promise I’m not just a mean nutritionist who wants to take away all your favourite foods. Also I believe everything is ok in moderation.
I'm not asking you to cut them out 4ever ... just 80-70% of the time.
Dairy is highly inflammatory because most people are intolerant to dairy in one of two ways.
First, you may be intolerant to lactose, the sugar in milk or second, you may be intolerant to casein, the protein in milk.
The enzyme that digests lactose - aka lactase- is produced in babies in order to digest breast milk, and for calves, milk from their mothers.
But as adults, we don’t need breastmilk, so why would we have an enzyme that’s not useful?
The answer—we don’t. Also, you’re not a baby cow.
The vast majority of the population either lacks the enzyme lactase to digest lactose, or has a very reduced ability to digest it.
Same goes for casein, which is also difficult for the human body to digest. This protein can cross the blood-brain barrier, influencing brain function & causing mood disturbances.
When you repeatedly eat foods your body can’t digest, it aggravates your digestive system until it becomes inflamed. And inflammation = anxiety.
Even for the rare lucky few people who CAN digest dairy, it gets immediately converted into glucose, which spikes blood sugar, alters the gut microbiome, and causes inflammation.
So, either way, it’s definitely not a win-win situation.
If you’re hell-bent on not ditching the dairy, try to reduce your consumption or opt for fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir, or hard raw milk cheeses. You can also test out different types of dairy. Some people do much better with goat or sheep dairy instead of cow dairy (because they have different proteins).
Gluten often gets the worst rep out of all the food groups and is most commonly the number one food any holistic health professional will tell you to dump.
And it’s kind of for good reason…
The first, and maybe not so obvious to most people, is that the grains we use today aren’t the grains of the past.
100 years ago, and maybe even 50 years ago, grains didn’t cause the levels of inflammation they do today.
Our grandparents, well they somehow lived to be 100 eating gluten on gluten on gluten.
But for us unlucky bunch living in the now, gluten wreaks havoc on our body.
This is because the grains we use to make breads, pasta, sweets, and everything else with flour are beyond processed, refined, and devout of any sort of nutritional value.
Not to mention, often GMO.
The gluten of today is a sticky protein causing “wear and tear” of the gut lining. It also impacts opioid receptors in the brain, creating addictive tendencies & mood disturbances.
So, for the majority of us who have inflammation, gluten is making the situation worse.
🧐 Start reading your labels and look out for hidden sources of gluten in soy sauce & store-bought sauces and dressings.
I know, it tastes sooooo so good—but it’s soooo not good for you.
Multiple studies report that dietary sugar intake is a stimulus of inflammation, which is measured by levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRPs are a common inflammatory marker and they’re high in people with anxiety.
Also it's extremely important when working to eliminate anxiety that we have a good balance between the "good" bacteria in your gut and the "bad" bacteria.
This is also called your gut flora.
Sugar feeds the bad guys, fibre feeds the good guys.
One of the first thing I do with my clients is address their gut flora. The "good guys" .... they BUILD YOUR NEUROTRANSMITTERS. They cannot do that if they're busy fighting the "bad" guys.
The research on this is undeniable at this point. Multiple studies now show that targeting your gut microbiome prevents anxiety.
These two things I know for sure my friends... if you want that #anxietyfreedom you need to reduce inflammation and support your gut microbiome.
And if you need more personalized support click HERE to book a complimentary call to see if my programs can help you 💜