Everybody gets depressed at some time or another. Feeling the blues is a normal part of life that everyone must grapple with. But feeling depressed can turn your life into a living nightmare when it persists long term and affects everything you do.

There are numerous types of depression but there are some commonly known ones. Persistent depressive disorder (once known as dysthymia) is a chronic low-grade depression that most sufferers describe as feeling as though they are in a fog most or all the time. Major depression in which people lose interest in life in general and bi-polar disorder are the more serious and potentially debilitating types.

Some people have situational depression that comes on while in a difficult and incredibly challenging life situation. Most often the depressive feelings lift when removed from the situation of extreme stress.

There are many things that can lead to depression and, believe it or not, one of them is the food you eat. Food is often overlooked and undervalued in medical communities when it comes to treating depression. Nutrition is not the first line priority in western medicine. In fact, doctors do not take nutrition classes in medical school. They talk about nutrition as it relates to specific diseases like diabetes or heart disease but that is it.

You may be wondering how food could possibly affect your mood. The latest science in neurobiology (brain science) and psychoneuroimmunology (mind-body medicine) have conducted studies on the connection between the gut and the brain (known as the gut-brain axis) revealing that one part does not function without the other. The two are connected by a complex system of nerves and healthy bacteria in your gut that communicate with your brain ultimately affecting your mood. Ultra-processed foods and certain chemicals kill much needed gut bacteria and send signals to the brain that can dramatically impact your mood.

Among the diseases linked to your food mood connection are schizophrenia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, and bi-polar disorder. The food you eat may be exactly what you need to assess to heal your history of depression. Here are five foods that may be causing or exacerbating your depression.

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