Home Nutrition Advice What is the Importance of Nutrition and Gut Microbiota in Preventing Depression?

What is the Importance of Nutrition and Gut Microbiota in Preventing Depression?

Among the psychology trend statements of the APA (American Psychological Association) in 2019, it was stated that healthy eating has a significant role in psychology. However, what we eat affects our physical appearance and psychological state is discussed more daily.

For example, according to a study, in people who eat a diet high in processed meat, fast food, and sugar, depression, attention deficit, and hyperactivity diseases are more common! In other words, adequate, balanced, and healthy nutrition; is very important for our brain’s development and proper functioning.

The most common nutritional deficiency in people with mental illness is a deficiency of B group vitamins, omega-3, antioxidant vitamins and minerals, vitamin D, and amino acids necessary for producing some neurotransmitters. At this point, we come across the health of the gut microbiota, which is directly affected by our diet associated with depression.

Neurotransmitters (nerve transmitters) in the brain of the depressed person; The release of noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin is distressed, and serotonin deficiency also increases the susceptibility to depression. In addition, a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity in 2013 found that certain overeating foods also cause depression. A person’s diet significantly affects not only his weight but also his emotional state.

The connection between the gut and the brain

The subject emphasized in studies on the relationship between nutrition and mood; is a transmission network that is thought to have a strong connection between the gut and the brain. Scientists who support this idea see the gut as the second brain. Nerve transmission between the gut-stomach and brain occurs via the ‘Nervus Vagus’ nerve. Favorable or unfavorable changes in the intestines are transmitted to the brain through this nerve. This transmission network shows us that the intestines effectively function in the brain.

The gut contains about 100 trillion different microorganisms. This is called the gut microbiota. Isn’t it interesting that there is evidence to show that the gut microbiota also boosts our immunity and mood? Depression patients are deficient in some bacteria in their guts and have been found to differ from the gut structures of healthy people.

About 80% of the serotonin in the body is produced in the intestines. Accordingly, improving our gut microbiota will positively affect the release of serotonin and various hormones in our bodies. We can say that a healthy microbiota can also help us improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Consuming foods rich in tryptophan (meat, fish, bananas, strawberries, apples, oranges, peanuts, walnuts…) will help make us happy by releasing serotonin! Tryptophan is the type of amino acid required for the production of serotonin.

Can depression be treated with the proper diet?

As a result, according to data from the World Health Organization, depression is increasing significantly. Although there are many causes of depression, it should not be overlooked that the importance of nutrition and maintaining an unhealthy diet can also cause depression.

Today, with unlimited and fast access to options such as processed food, sugary foods, and fast food, the preference for unhealthy foods and the lower price of such products affect the diet negatively. The intestinal microbiota of people who have this terrible diet is also harmful. Accordingly, it is possible to say that the dire situation in the intestinal microbiota also affects our mood.

With the emergence of an approach to nutritional psychiatry, which is an approach to reduce the incidence of depression and increase the success in treating depression, the importance given to nutrition will increase today and in the future. Perhaps, in treating depression, which is so closely related to food, we can observe that the diagnosis of depression, which is increasing daily, will decrease with the correct regulation of one’s diet. This will benefit the person in treating depression and reduce the risk of developing depression if he makes healthy eating a lifestyle. This way, we will start to talk more about the power of healthy food in treating mental illnesses.