7 Servings a Day: The Natural Secret to a Happier You?

Summer, the season of sunshine and warmth, usually represents happiness in traditional Chinese medicine. However, for those struggling with depression or anxiety, this season may feel as heavy as the rest of the year. With prescriptions for antidepressants at an all-time high, many people are searching for natural ways to improve their mental health. Fortunately, research is finding that a change in diet, proper nutrients, and regular exercise can significantly improve emotional balance.

The Connection Between Inflammation and Mental Health

One major contributing factor in mood disorders is the destructive cycle of inflammation and stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that stress and depression increase inflammatory markers throughout the body, which in turn, fuel mental and emotional imbalances. These imbalances can lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular illness and other degenerative diseases.

The good news is that many of the protocols used to reduce the risk of these diseases can also help alleviate chronic stress and depression. In particular, studies show that antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods can have a profound impact on mental health.

Feeling Happier with Fruits and Vegetables

A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology discovered that college-aged students who consumed more fruits and vegetables reported feeling calmer, happier, and more energetic. Another study in the journal Social Indicators Research involving 80,000 participants revealed that the more servings of fruits and vegetables people ate, the happier and more emotionally content they felt. The researchers concluded that consuming seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day yielded the most significant increases in happiness and overall emotional wellness.

Antioxidants and Mental Health

Research supports the idea that antioxidants can improve mental health. A 2012 study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that antioxidant therapy, specifically vitamins A, C, and E, reduced anxiety and depression in patients dealing with stress-related disorders. Another study in 2013 noted that the antioxidant CoQ10 reduced depressive symptoms related to oxidative stress.

Herbs and Botanicals for Mood Support

Several herbs, such as kava, St. John’s wort, and passionflower, have demonstrated potential in calming stress responses and alleviating depressive symptoms. One study even showed that using olive leaf extract as an antifungal treatment for candida infection improved nutrient absorption in the digestive tract and reduced ADHD and depressive symptoms.

Honokiol, an active ingredient found in magnolia tree bark, has gained attention in the medical community for its potential in addressing anxiety, stress, and depression. Preclinical studies show that honokiol interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA and promotes a sense of calm without causing dependency or side effects. Moreover, honokiol is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent with significant neuroprotective and anticancer benefits.

Finding the Right Support for Mental Health

Mood disorders are complex and may stem from various causes. If you struggle with chronic mood imbalances and your quality of life is suffering, work closely with a holistic health practitioner who can help you identify the potential underlying factors.

The connection between the body and the mind is vast and intricate. By supporting mental and emotional health through diet, exercise, and targeted supplements, you can enhance both vitality and longevity in a natural, holistic manner.