In the future it seems likely that doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatories for mental health.
Why? Because research shows neuroinflammation is an underlying mechanism in depression.
In fact people who have depression have been found to have 46% higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammatory disease, in their blood samples.*
But there are some relatively simple things you can do about an uptight brain.
To improve mood and short and long-term wellbeing:
Make sure you have good gut health. Take an acidophilus tablet daily and eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, keffir and yoghurt. Avoid foods that typically promote gut problems – gluten, dairy and sugar – if you suffer from an upset stomach.
Pack your diet with anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, olive oil and green leafy veggies (think Mediterranean Diet) and remove inflammatory “white” processed foods – bread, cakes, biscuits; fake fats, sugars and chemicals. Make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin D too – in sunshine and foods like fish and eggs.
Get eight hours sleep.
Most importantly, reduce STRESS. Do a relaxation exercise; do yoga, or tai chi or a spin class; use talk therapy or regular time with good friends to de-stress; and take a regular holiday.
*Soledad Cepeda, M., Stang, P., & Makadia R. (2016) Depression Is Associated With High Levels of C-Reactive Protein and Low Levels of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide: Results From the 2007-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. J Clin Psychiatry. 1666-71.
Helen is a content producer and who writes wellness and business content for newspapers, magazines and digital sites and helps clients with their content strategy. She also coaches private clients about a healthy diet, how to lose weight, how to overcome anxiety, how to cope with stress, how to get more sleep and how to improve general health.