Tag: Depression

Brightening Your Days: How to deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder

If shorter days and weather changes leave you feeling drained and blue, If you find yourself experiencing changes in mood, energy levels, or motivation during autumn and winter, you might be grappling with SAD or seasonal affective disorder. 

You need not worry, though, for there are numerous ways and coping mechanisms to help you navigate this challenging period. All you need to know is that you’re not alone; it is a very common form of depression that we’ve probably all experienced some time in our lives. So, read on to find out what seasonal affective disorder is, how it can affect you during the winter season, and what you can do to deal with it effectively.

What is seasonal affective disorder?

SAD is a form of depression or low mood that occurs in the autumn and lasts throughout the winter. That’s why you’ve probably heard it called winter depression. When you have SAD, you will experience “the blues” or a more downbeat mood as winter begins, with its shorter days. As the weather warms and the days become longer, your mood tends to improve and you feel lighter. 

What causes seasonal affective disorder?

Research has shown that SAD is linked to the reduction in sunlight, which is why it appears during the months of autumn and winter. Lack of sunlight disorients the hypothalamus- the base of the brain, which is responsible for a wide range of functions.

The malfunction of the hypothalamus leads to the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm, the 24-hour clock that regulates how we function during sleeping and waking hours. This is probably due to the lowered levels of vitamin D, melatonin and serotonin, which are controlled by the hypothalamus. The lack of those precious hormones, along with the lack of Vitamin D, leads to feelings of depression, lack of energy and sleepiness, and the symptoms don’t stop here.

What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?

Regardless of the causes of SAD, the signs and SAD symptoms typically include:

  • Low moods that don’t change
  • Feeling irritable, stressed, anxious or tearful
  • Avoiding socialising
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Increased appetite, particularly for carbohydrate-heavy foods
  • Gaining weight
  • Lethargy
  • Having tiredness or low energy
  • Lossing of interest in activities you used to enjoy

If you’ve experienced those symptoms, it’s time to alleviate them. Dealing with SAD might be difficult, but it is not impossible to beat. 

How to deal with seasonal affective disorder?

1. Consult a trusted healthcare professional

SAD needs to be diagnosed by a mental health or healthcare professional. So before you diagnose yourself, visit a healthcare professional you trust. The healthcare professional will do a screening to determine if you have SAD rather than another type of depression and guide you on the best ways to fight SAD.

2. Socialise

When we have SAD we simply don’t want to go out, and it’s normal since, in wintertime, we want to avoid the cold outside. But studies have found that there is a connection between emotional and social loneliness and depression so it is important to make an effort and stay connected with friends and family, even if it is difficult to meet in person.

Schedule a Google Meet with friends or call them on Viber. Try online activities such as board games or virtual movie nights. Joining online communities can also be a great way to stay connected. Consider taking advantage of virtual fitness classes or streaming your favourite shows together. Find ways to be creative with your virtual activities. Have fun and make memories together.

3. Exercise

Outdoor exercise is highly effective at alleviating SAD symptoms as it exposes the body to daylight. If it’s too cold to exercise outside, you can still hit the gym or use your home’s stationary bike. 

Generally, exercise is especially beneficial for people with mild to moderate depression, as it can boost their moods. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do, as long as it suits your body and you enjoy it. Therefore, if you can force yourself to start 15 to 20 minutes of walking, dancing, or yoga, it is sure to lift your spirit. Most importantly, you’ll be surprised to find out that you’ll get used to it. After a while, exercise will become your favourite activity since it releases endorphins that make you feel good. 

4. Increase your intake of Vitamin D

Make sure you get enough sunlight during the day, and incorporate vitamin D-rich foods into your diet. Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are the best sources of vitamin D, while other sources include egg yolks, red meat, and liver. You can also try a Vitamin D supplement, which makes it easier to manage and regulate intake levels, especially when natural sources or dietary changes aren’t sufficient to meet the body’s requirements. Alternatively, you can consider a Vitamin D injection which will help replenish quickly your vitamin levels and make you feel as good as new.

5. Increase your levels of serotonin and melatonin

There are lots of natural ways to boost serotonin and melatonin in your body. To increase melatonin, try foods like goji berries, cherries, salmon, or eggs. To increase your serotonin levels easily, consider taking a Vitamin B6 supplement.

6. Try phototherapy

According to the Mayo Clinic, with a phototherapy or light therapy box, you can alleviate the symptoms of SAD. A light therapy box mimics sunlight, causing a chemical change in the brain to lift your mood and ease other symptoms of SAD. All you have to do is sit in front of the light box for about 20 to 30 minutes within the first hour of waking up in the morning.

7. Indulge in a massage

Massage may help relieve the physical symptoms associated with depression, such as back pain, muscle aches, fatigue and sleeping problems. For example, a lava stone treatment combines relaxing warmth and refreshing coolness, encouraging the body to detox, re-energise, relax, and heal. 

8. Put a patch on

Wellness patches are the self-care innovation you should know. They provide your body with essential nutrients, plus they’re easy to apply. Need a boost? Pop on an energy patch and feel the power surge. Struggling to sleep? Let a sleep patch work its magic to lull you to sleep. These patches are simple, effective, and your body’s new best friends!

9. Use flaxseed oils

Flaxseed oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are known to improve mood status as they help to promote photon and electron activity within the body. Consult a healthcare professional for the option of using a flaxseed enema that leaves you with an enhanced feeling of calmness or a flaxseed oil supplement 

10. Maintain a schedule

Behavioral scientists believe that the most powerful tool in your arsenal is plan-making. Plan-making helps you deal with your problem by simply pushing yourself to follow through with your goals. So just keep a steady schedule of everything you do during the day. Program your sleeping schedule, work time, exercise and meals. 

In that way, you can tune your circadian rhythm and thus avoid overeating, improve your sleep and energy levels, and stay focused and productive throughout the day. Motivating yourself with it is the best thing you can do.

Bottom Line

Dealing with SAD is a journey that requires patience and self-compassion. With proper planning and execution, you will be able to manage your symptoms and reclaim your vitality. So don’t give up; start your journey to healing.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post and you want to learn more about remaining energised and healthy, we suggest visiting our blog section for more interesting stories. You can contact us with any questions you might have, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Happy Hormones Guide: How to boost your happy hormones

Everyone has days that get you down. We all go through periods when we might not feel confident or our mood plummets. For some, these periods might last a couple of days, for others weeks and for some even months.

Scientists have long researched what biologically affects our moods and found that four essential hormones impact our happiness and well-being. While it may be things out of your control that are causing you to feel stressed or depressed, there are things you can do to boost your mood naturally. In this comprehensive guide, we help you discover ways to uplift yourself and get yourself feeling your usual self.

What are the happy hormones?

Hormones are chemicals produced by different glands of the body that travel through the bloodstream and act as transmitters, regulating many bodily functions.

Consequently, happy hormones are the hormones that promote positive feelings, including happiness and pleasure.  The four main “happy hormones” are:

  • Dopamine: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure, motivation, and reward. It is released when we do something we enjoy, such as eating, having sex, or exercising.
  • Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and pain. This is why low serotonin levels are linked to depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.
  • Endorphins: Endorphins are hormones that act as natural painkillers. They are released in response to pain or stress and can also be released during activities such as exercise, meditation, and laughter.
  • Oxytocin: Oxytocin is a hormone that is released during social bonding, such as hugging, kissing, and childbirth. It is known as the “love hormone” because it promotes feelings of trust, empathy, and bonding.

How can you boost your happy hormones naturally?


About 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut, which helps regulate bowel movements, secretions, and pain sensations. Serotonin is released from enterochromaffin cells in the lining of the gut, and these cells also release other chemicals, such as histamine and gastrin, which help to control digestion. Serotonin binds to receptors on nerve endings in the intestinal wall, sending signals to the brain and other body parts.

Serotonin plays a role in the following digestive functions:

  • Motility: Serotonin helps regulate food movement through the digestive tract. It does this by stimulating the contraction of smooth muscle in the gut.
  • Secretion: Serotonin helps to regulate the secretion of fluids and enzymes in the gut. As a result, food is broken down, and nutrients are absorbed.
  • Pain sensation: Serotonin plays a role in pain perception in the gut. It does this by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain.

This is why Serotonin is believed to play a significant role in various conditions, including in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a very common condition that affects the digestive tract. IBS is characterised by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea. 

In people with IBS, there is often an imbalance in serotonin levels in the gut. This imbalance can lead to increased pain perception, decreased mobility, and altered secretions. 

If you need to improve serotonin levels in the gut, there are several ways. These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fibre and low in processed foods can help improve serotonin levels.
  • Getting regular exercise: Exercise helps to increase serotonin levels in the brain and the gut.
  • Managing stress: Stress can lower serotonin levels. Finding ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, relaxation massages or hypnotherapy, can help to improve serotonin levels.
  • Spending time in nature: Nature reduces anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions, and when you are outside, the fresh air can help raise oxygen levels in your brain, which increases serotonin levels.
  • Taking supplements: There are several supplements that can help to increase serotonin levels, such as 5-HTP and L-tryptophan. You can also take Vitamin B6 supplements. However, talking to your doctor before taking any supplements is important.

If you are experiencing digestive problems, seeing a health professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions is critical.

There are also certain foods that can help boost serotonin levels:

Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains high levels of cocoa, which is a good source of magnesium and phenylethylamine. Magnesium is a mineral that helps regulate mood, while phenylethylamine is a compound that has mood-boosting effects.

Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to produce serotonin. Some good choices include almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.

Fish: Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids help to improve mood and cognitive function. Some good choices include salmon, tuna, and mackerel.

Eggs: Eggs are a good source of protein and tryptophan. They also contain vitamin B12, which is important for mood regulation.

Bananas: Bananas are a good source of potassium and magnesium, both of which are important for mood regulation. They also contain tryptophan.

Yoghurt: Yoghurt is a good source of probiotics, which are live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. Gut health is linked to mood, so eating yoghurt can help to boost serotonin levels.

Whole grains: Whole grains are a good source of fibres, which are essential for gut health. They also contain B vitamins, which are important for mood regulation.

Berries: Berries are a good source of antioxidants, which can help to improve mood. They also contain vitamin C, which improves brain health.

Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are a good source of magnesium for mood regulation. They also contain folate, which is vital for brain health.

By making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can help to boost your serotonin levels and improve your mood.


The brain releases the hormone dopamine when we expect a reward. When your brain begins to link an activity, such as sex or a favourite hobby, such as shopping or an item like your favourite food, to a rewarding feeling, the mere anticipation of it can cause your brain to release dopamine. 

Dopamine helps to:

  • Feel reward and pleasure: One of the most well-known functions of dopamine is its role in the brain’s reward system. It’s often called the “feel-good” neurotransmitter because it’s released when we experience pleasure or reward. Eating delicious food, engaging in enjoyable hobbies, or receiving positive feedback can trigger dopamine release. 
  • Encourage motivation and goal-oriented behaviour: Dopamine is associated with motivation and the drive to pursue goals. When you achieve a set goal, dopamine is released, which gives you a sense of accomplishment and encourages you to keep working toward your targets. Low dopamine levels can lead to decreased motivation and difficulty concentrating.
  • Regulate your mood: Dopamine is involved in regulating mood and emotional responses. Imbalances in dopamine levels have been associated with various mental health conditions, including depression, schizophrenia, and addiction. Drugs that affect dopamine transmission can alter mood and emotional states.
  • Maximise focus: Steady dopamine levels are essential for maintaining focus and attention on tasks. People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have imbalances in dopamine; this is why medications used to treat ADHD work by increasing dopamine activity in the brain.
  • Regulate sleep: Dopamine helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Low dopamine levels can lead to sleep disturbances, while balanced dopamine activity is necessary for a healthy sleep pattern. If you have trouble sleeping you can try a sleep patch, a relatively new form of treatment that could make all the difference in getting a good night’s rest.
  • Regulate appetite and food intake: Dopamine regulates appetite and food intake. It can influence both hunger and the pleasure gained from eating.

Dopamine deficiency can have negative effects on your physical and mental well-being. Parkinson’s disease, restless legs syndrome, depression, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are all linked to low levels of dopamine. 

If you need to boost your dopamine levels, there are certain types of foods that can support the production of this happy hormone. Food that is rich in protein and tyrosine is the most beneficial for boosting the production of the hormone.  For those of you who have meat-free diets, there’s no need to worry, as both protein and tyrosine can be found in other foods besides meat. These are: 

  • Protein-Rich Foods: Protein provides the amino acids needed for synthesising dopamine. You should include lean protein sources, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and lean beef in your diet. If you’re vegetarian, tofu and legumes are great substitutes that give off the same effects.
  • Tyrosine-Rich Foods: Tyrosine is an amino acid and a precursor to dopamine. Foods high in tyrosine include lean meats, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are high in folate, which is vital for producing dopamine receptors in the brain.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are good sources of tyrosine and can be included in a dopamine-boosting diet.
  • Bananas: Bananas contain a precursor to dopamine called L-dopa, which can support dopamine production in the brain. They also contain vitamins and minerals that are important for overall brain health.
  • Avocado: Avocados are particularly good for increasing dopamine. They are rich in tyrosine and provide healthy fats that support brain function. It’s a nutritious addition to a dopamine-friendly diet.

There are other ways that you can naturally encourage the production of dopamine. These are: 

  • Improve your sleep schedule: Sleep quality has a massive impact on your mood. Everyone knows a bad night can easily ruin the next day right until your head hits your pillow again. Ensuring you get enough sleep is vital for regulating your dopamine levels and other hormones. You should aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you can’t get enough sleep you may want to try a sleep patch or a valerian supplement.
  • Set achievable goals: As we have said, dopamine is released when we achieve our goals, and it motivates us, so by setting small achievable goals, you will release dopamine when you complete them. This should motivate you when it comes to more significant tasks.
  • Socialise more: Spending time with friends cheers everyone up. This is because positive social interactions and bonding with friends and loved ones can lead to increased dopamine production. If you’re ever feeling low, take a moment out of your day to catch up with your friends and family, even if it’s just a quick call or text.
  • Steer clear of addictions: Avoid addictive behaviours and substances like excessive caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. These can lead to dopamine imbalances and dependency, which can cause severe damage to your health and mental well-being. It should go without saying that recreational drugs are a no-go in general, but when it comes to dopamine, they can give you a much more powerful rush than what occurs naturally, which your body cannot keep up with. This leads to a dependency that will lead to serious harm. 
  • Do things you enjoy: Pursue creative hobbies and activities that you enjoy. Whether it’s art, music, writing, or any other form of creative expression, these activities can boost dopamine levels. When you engage in activities you genuinely take pleasure in, like listening to your favourite music, watching a funny movie, or beating your favourite video game, your brain releases dopamine. 


Oxytocin is a potent hormone commonly called the “love hormone” or “the cuddle hormone” as it plays a massive role in bonding. When we hug, kiss and are sexually intimate, it is released to strengthen our bonds with our partners. It’s also the hormone that helps mothers bond with their babies, as it is produced during childbirth and breastfeeding. While oxytocin is powerful, it doesn’t magically alter our behaviour and make us fall in love. It just boosts the positive feelings we get from feeling close and secure. 

Oxytocin helps to:

  • Lower Blood Pressure: Oxytocin lowers our blood pressure and helps us to relax, which helps us deal better with stress as it also lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 
  • Give Birth: Oxytocin production is triggered when a parent goes into labour. Its main function is to aid in childbirth. As the vagina and cervix begin to widen for childbirth, oxytocin causes the contractions to help the baby move through the birth canal. It also plays a key role in regulating and controlling processes that ensure a safe birth. 
  • Breastfeed: Oxytocin’s secondary function is to stimulate the contractions of the breast tissue to aid with breastfeeding by making it easier for the milk to flow once a baby is born. This is commonly known as the “let-down reflex”.
  • Regulate appetite: Oxytocin can affect our appetite and eating behaviour. Scientists have discovered that the hormone reduces activity in the area of our brain that controls our hunger and stimulates our impulse control.
  • Provide anti-inflammatory effects: It has been found that oxytocin has anti-inflammatory properties that help our bodies fight inflammation. It can prevent autoimmune diseases caused by chronic inflammation from arising. These qualities also mean that oxytocin plays a part in making our wounds heal quicker. 

Autism spectrum disorders and depression have been linked to low levels of oxytocin. It has been suggested that boosting oxytocin levels may help to treat social phobia, depression and anger problems. So, just like dopamine, there are some foods that can help your oxytocin production. These are:

Foods that are rich in vitamins A and B: These foods are particularly good for giving your oxytocin a lift. Some food suggestions that fit this category include carrots, fish, dairy products, spinach, leeks and parsley.

Water: staying hydrated is a big factor in our overall health, and keeping your hormones happy is no different. It is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water daily to stay well.

Foods that are high in Omega 3: Don’t think this means you have to eat a lot of fish to improve your oxygen levels. There are also other options when it comes to omega-3-rich food, such as olives and walnuts.

Cereals: Another great addition to your diet is lots of cereals and grains, as they also grow your oxytocin levels.

Eggs and other dairy and proteins: Egg is a brilliant source of protein that will help improve your oxytocin levels. They are incredibly healthy and full of nutrients. Eating just one egg a day will help you see an improvement in your well-being. Red meat, poultry, lentils, beans, chickpeas and quinoa are other great sources of protein that can benefit you.

Chamomile: Chamomile has long been used as a natural remedy, but studies have shown that it actually works to calm us down by activating the same part of our brain that anti-anxiety drugs do. Chamomile has been shown to increase oxytocin while lowering cortisol. 

Besides improving your diet, there are also other ways you improve your oxytocin levels, including

  • Spending time with your pet: Spending time cuddling with your furry friends is a great (and cute) way to boost your happiness. Studies have shown that stroking cats and dogs relieves stress. A study by the University of Tokyo found that stroking a cat’s fur releases oxytocin.
  • Basking in the sun: Vitamin D naturally increases your oxytocin levels, so relaxing in the sun is a simple way to lift your mood. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to anxiety, depression and poor sleep quality. Alternatively, you can take Vitamin D supplements.
  • Aromatherapy: Some aromatherapy oils have been shown to have a positive effect on lowering our stress and heightening our oxytocin. Jasmine oil and clary sage oil are both good for making us feel relaxed by reducing cortisol and boosting our happy hormones. 


Endorphins play a crucial role in how we experience pain and pleasure and are often called “feel-good” hormones or neurotransmitters. For example, when you get a paper cut, endorphins are released to block pain and ease discomfort temporarily. They are also released when we experience something we enjoy, like eating our favourite foods, exercising and laughing. 

Endorphins help you:

  • Regulate Pain: The main role of Endorphins is to regulate pain. When you hurt yourself, your brain releases endorphins to block the pain. They bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing the level of pain and discomfort you feel. This natural pain relief helps you endure challenging situations or recover from injuries.
  • Increase Pleasure: Endorphins are also responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria. They can create a sense of well-being and even a “high” in some cases. Activities that stimulate endorphin release, such as exercise, laughter, or even certain foods, can improve mood and a sense of happiness.
  • Reduce Stress: Endorphins are highly important in reducing stress. When you feel anxious, they are released to help calm your mind and alleviate stress. This is why activities like meditation, yoga, massages, hypnotherapy or deep breathing exercises are often recommended for stress management, as they can trigger the release of endorphins.
  • Support your immune system: Endorphins also regulate the immune system. They can boost the immune response to infections by interacting with immune cells and increasing their activity.

Low levels of endorphins may increase the risk of unintentional weight loss. It also increases body aches and pains, depression and anxiety, while it is also associated with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic pain throughout your body.

There are no specific foods that will help boost your endorphins. However, proteins like lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and legumes provide amino acids important for producing neurotransmitters, including those involved in mood regulation. As mentioned before, eating dark chocolate can also have a positive effect, as it contains compounds that can promote the release of endorphins. 

The best advice is to follow a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg because your overall health contributes greatly to your mood. You can think of the following way as the means of increasing your endorphins:

  • Exercise: Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to increase endorphin levels. It is one of the most recommended ways to improve your mood instantly. Aerobic exercise like running, cycling, dancing or even weight training can cause a surge of endorphins to be released. This intense feeling is often referred to as a “runner’s high.” Even moderate exercise, like brisk walking, can positively impact your mood.
  • Laughter: It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not wrong. Laughter is a natural way to stimulate endorphin release. Watching a funny movie, spending time with friends who make you laugh, or engaging in activities that amuse you can all trigger laughter and boost endorphins. Some people even take laughter therapy sessions to work through their problems with the help of laughter (and endorphins) to get them through. 
  • Massage: Treating yourself to a spa day might be a good idea, as getting a relaxing massage can release endorphins, which provide relaxation and pain relief. The physical manipulation of muscles and tissues can stimulate these feel-good chemicals
  • Meditation and Deep Breathing: Mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. As stress decreases, your body is less likely to release stress-related chemicals and more likely to produce endorphins. 

Listen to your favourite tunes: Listening to your favourite music, especially upbeat and lively tunes, can boost your mood and potentially increase endorphin levels. Dancing along can also help to boost your mood. While boogying to the radio in the kitchen while you get ready for work may appear embarrassing, it actually does good for you in the same way exercising does, so don’t be afraid to let loose!

Wrapping up

Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin promotes happiness and pleasure while reducing depression and anxiety. If you want to boost these feel-good hormones you can boost them easily by changing your diet and doing activities that make you happy!

If you’re having difficulty regulating your mood, contact us to talk with our healthcare expert, who can recommend therapies or treatments that may help.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post and you want to learn more about digestion, we suggest reading our blog post, Eat Well to Feel Well: 3 tips on supporting your general and mental health or just visiting our blog section for more interesting stories.

Eat Well to Feel Well: 3 tips on supporting your general and mental health 

As we all should know by now, eating well has so many benefits! It will lift our moods as well as our body health, keeping things like our digestive system on a positive track! However, there are so many other things that can also help your overall health and well-being. This blog will cover tips that Joy McCarthy, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, has recently spoken about, to benefit your overall health. 

Joy McCarthy is the founder of Joyous Health, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a best-selling author. Joy has recently spoken about how “sleep, stress, and sex impacts your overall health and wellbeing”. Within her weekly classes, she sets tasks to help the attendees with their general health. 

The tasks were:


Get to bed before 11 pm 3 times next week. See if you feel the benefits straight away. Studies have shown that even going to bed 15 minutes before your usual time will have a massive impact on your health, well-being, and even your appetite-controlling hormones.


Try to avoid watching TV or being on your computer for 1.5 hours before going to bed. Why not try other activities like reading, meditating, or even listening to music to try to calm yourself before going to sleep? 

Many electronics give off a blue light that suppresses the body from releasing the natural hormone, melatonin. Melatonin helps you keep a regular sleep pattern, encouraging sleep. Therefore trying to avoid these lights would benefit your sleep quality. 

Food Diary

By keeping a food diary you’ll be able to track what food you’re consuming, allowing you to make necessary changes if needed. Even including an extra portion of fruit and veg could benefit your well-being extensively. 

If these tips worked for you, drop a comment below on how they made you feel and if you will continue with them. 

If you liked this blog, visit the eternalbeing blog page, where you’ll find other blogs to help you feel healthier and better about yourself.

How Your Gut Can Heal Your Brain

Ever heard the expression, “you are what you eat”? Well, while many of us know that our mental health can be directly affected by our diet, most people aren’t aware that it is actually the bacteria inside us that causes the food to affect the way we feel. With this in mind, we want to look at how your gut can heal your brain in this blog.

​​How your gut health could be connected to your anxiety

According to Harvard Health, “a troubled intestine can send signals to your brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut”. This means that a person’s gut problems could potentially be the cause of any anxiety or stress that they are experiencing. Ever felt a whirling feeling in your stomach before an important meeting or presentation? Well, then you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. 

Given how closely the gut and brain interact, it isn’t hard to understand why you may feel intestinal discomfort during times of stress. Despite this, we shouldn’t assume that gastrointestinal conditions are imagined. In reality, stress or anxiety can actually affect movement and contractions of the gastrointestinal.

Stress-Related Gut Symptoms and Conditions

When you’re nervous or anxious, for example before that big meeting, your body releases hormones and chemicals that enter the digestive system. It’s these hormones and chemicals that affect the microorganisms living along your gut. The microorganisms help with the digestion process while decreasing antibody production, so this can result in a chemical imbalance which can cause several gastrointestinal conditions. Some of which include: 

  • Indigestion 
  • Stomach upset and diarrhoea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Food for thought

One of the ways that you can improve your mental health is to know which types of foods improve your gut health.

As we so eloquently said earlier “you are what you eat” and so here are some examples of foods that help both your gut and your mental health. 


Did you know that eating fibre can improve your memory and your overall mood? In addition to this, fibre can also decrease inflammation and oxidative stress by supporting microbiota. 

Vitamin D

We all feel better after a few hours in the sun, so it should come as no surprise to you that getting more vitamin D in your diet can improve your mental health. Vitamin D is great for regulating your microbiome and reducing gastrointestinal inflammation.


Protein can help to limit the number of bad bacteria in a microbiome. This is because proteins contain nitrogen. In turn, eating protein can help to decrease feelings of depression because of the production of serotonin and we all know that serotonin is a huge mood booster. 

If you would like to learn more about the connection between the gut and the brain, you can read our ‘How Gut Bacteria Leads to Depression and Anxiety’ blog. Alternatively, you can browse our other blogs here. 

7 Benefits of CBD Oil

CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is often pulled from the cannabis Sativa plant in oil form and mixed with an inert carrier oil like hemp seed oil so it is fit for consumption. Recently, CBD oil has become increasingly popular due to its purported calming effects. CBD oil can now be found in a range of products from simple oil tinctures to surprisingly CBD-infused potato crisps.

Research into CBD is also growing. Here are seven ways CBD oil could benefit your health according to recent studies:

  1. Anxiety and Depression

CBD’s impressive ability to calm is perhaps its most popular effect and the reason its use is so popular and widespread. According to the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry 2017 study, CBD helped to significantly reduce the anxiety of male participants during a simulated public speaking test. 

Furthermore, at least one study in mice revealed CBD had effects similar to the antidepressant, imipramine. However, Human trials are required to confirm whether CBD can help induce this same antidepressant reaction in our bodies.

  1. CBD can treat select epilepsy syndromes

In some cases, CBD oil can be used to treat epileptic seizures.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD under the brand name Epidiolex in 2018. This was to treat seizures as a result of two rare forms of epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome) in patients as young as 2 years old.

Over three studies, 516 patients suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome received either Epidiolex or a placebo. When taken along with other prescribed medications Epidiolex decreased the commonness of participants’ attacks compared to the placebo.

  1. Reduce PTSD Symptoms

In a small study by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2018, 11 people suffering from PTSD received CBD oil along with routine psychiatric care for a duration of eight weeks. 10 out of the 11 individuals experienced a decrease in their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Doctors such as Margaret Rajnic have emphasised the importance of using therapy alongside any type of cannabis or CBD when treating PTSD. 

  1. CBD oil can treat opioid addiction

Some studies suggest CBD oil could be helpful in treating people who are addicted to opioids. Researchers gave CBD to individuals with heroin use disorder and they saw results over the course of a week. The CBD significantly reduced users’ cue-induced cravings, withdrawal anxiety, resting heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. Plus, no serious adverse effects were found.

  1. CBD can alleviate ALS symptoms

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate meaning there is a loss of muscle control that worsens over time. No one knows for certain exactly why ALS occurs, but it can be hereditary. There is also no known cure, with only two FDA-approved medications used to help treat ALS symptoms.

People with ALS can benefit from the combination of THC and CBD, similar to people suffering from PTSD. In a study from 2019, individuals took a combination of THC and CBD in varying doses depending on their preferences. Those with mild, average or extreme muscle tightness and stiffness due to ALS reported great feedback from the treatment. 

  1. Protects against neurological disease

Preclinical and clinical studies indicate that CBD oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics can provide significant neuroprotection or protection against numerous pathological disorders.

Several preclinical studies suggest CBD oil could help those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. However, further clinical studies are required to confirm CBD’s benefits when used as a treatment for these disorders.

  1. Deter Arthritis symptoms 

Arthritis is the process of deterioration of the tissues in and around your joints. There are several types of arthritis, and symptoms can include pain, stiffness and loss of motion.

A 2006 study found that CBD oil (specifically ‘Sativex’, a CBD-based botanical drug approved in the United Kingdom) facilitated significant improvements in sleep quality, movement pain and pain at rest in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when compared to a placebo.

In a 2018 study, researchers found the results were interesting, but not conclusive. Those treated with CBD didn’t experience much change in pain when compared with placebo patients. However, there were statistically significant differences between a group receiving the 250-milligram dose and a placebo group when measuring the average weekly improvement of their worst pain levels and their WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) physical function rating.

As you can tell, there are many benefits of using CBD Oil. Visit the Eternalbeing website today or pop into the clinic to get your hands on your very own CBD oil and see the benefits for yourself!