Nowadays, it seems hard to meet someone who has not experienced depression in some degree. If you have not felt depressed at least once in your life, consider yourself lucky!
But while experiencing depression is the new normal, the good news is that you can do something to treat it and prevent it. There is a link between the keto diet and depression that makes you less susceptible to this disease!
Does the Keto Diet Cause Depression?
If you think that your sadness, anxiety, and stress only impact your mental health, think again. Actually, all of these negative emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, making you weak not only mentally but also physically.
When you are depressed, your immune system weakens, making you more susceptible to different diseases.
Learning how to cope with your problems is one way to prevent depression, but that is not the only way. Your eating choices matter, too!
So if you’ve been wondering whether the keto diet can positively or negatively impact your overall emotional state, grab some popcorns and read on.
You probably agree that a high intake of sugar has a negative impact on your mood. When you eat high-carb food, you experience sugar highs and crashes afterwards.
When that happens, you feel cranky, low in energy, and depressed.
It makes you happier!
If you have just started eating keto and have come from a background of eating high-carb food and not exercising enough, the transition period may be tough for you. Remember, however, that this is just a phase.
As you get used to removing high-carb refined food from your diet, losing weight and eating whole food, you will eventually discover how the keto diet actually helps with your mood problems and makes you happier.
How Keto Helps Depression
There was this study before that looked at how the keto diet could have links with depression. The study studied the behavior of rats that are on keto versus those that are not.
The study also found that rats on a keto diet displayed less behavioral despair than those not eating keto. They exhibited less hopelessness, less helplessness, and were more active.
They got up, moved around and were active participants in their lives.
Think about that time when you’ve been extremely sad or depressed about something. You displayed quality of helplessness, didn’t you?
You were sure that no matter what you do, nothing would change in your situation. You felt unusually lethargic, sleepy, and didn’t want to do anything.
Those are all signs of depression and those were what the rats who didn’t go keto in that study exhibited.
The rats that were fed a keto diet were the ones who kept moving around, while those who were not were the ones who ended up sedentary. That’s a significant knock-on effect you have right there!
There are a lot of things about the keto diet that make it beneficial to people who experience depression. If you want to stabilize your mood, take note of these:
· Historically, the keto diet has been used as an effective therapy for those with epilepsy. Positive changes in brain-energy profile have been observed in people who follow this diet.
· The extracellular changes that happen in your body when it is in ketosis tend to decrease the sodium concentrations within your cells.
This is what stabilizers for people with depression try to achieve—to reduce the concentrations of sodium in cells.
· When you are on a keto diet, your body produces more GABA, a major neurotransmitter that helps the brain function properly.
When your GABA levels are low, you are more at risk for anxiety and depression. You stave off depression when you go keto!
· Since going keto helps you lose weight, it may also help relieve symptoms of depression, especially if the reason for your depression is linked to being overweight.
In fact, regardless of the eating plan that you follow, you will find yourself enjoying better sleep and better moods if you are at a healthy weight.
The adrenals of your body produce hormones called DHEA, the most abundant steroid in our bodies. This hormone and its derivatives are naturally produced in your kidney glands, reproductive organs and brain.
It is also used to make the 7-Keto DHEA, which offers a wide range of benefits as a nootropic, especially for people with depression.
There are several ways the 7-Keto DHEA helps prevent and cure depression. This hormone does this by basically helping reduce the amount of cortisol in your body.
Cortisol levels in your body tend to increase following a short period of stress. As the 7-Keto DHEA reduces your stress hormones, you become less likely to feel stressed and suffer from depression.
A study conducted before found that chronic mild stress reduces the T3 levels, T4 levels, and immune response in depressed mice. In humans, the 7-Keto reduces the depressive symptoms and restores the T3, T4, and immune cell levels to their normal levels.
If what causes your depression is your excessive weight, 7-Keto may also help you! This hormone, along with proper keto diet and exercise, helps reduce weight more than just diet and exercise with no adverse effects.
7-Keto works in increasing your metabolic rate, so you get to burn more calories faster!
Using the keto diet, you can improve your overall brain function as it alters the downstream neurochemical effects of depression. While the antidepressant properties of keto are undeniable, that doesn’t mean that it is an end-all, be-all cure for the condition.
If you are suffering from this mental condition, it is still best to seek help from mental health professionals or undergo coaching.