What Can I Eat When I Have A Stomach Ulcer?

What Can I Eat When I Have A Stomach Ulcer?

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

Researchers estimate about 1% to 6% of people in the United States have stomach ulcers otherwise called gastric ulcers. (1)

Studies have shown that the prevalence of gastric ulcers increases with age. Most ulcers caused by H. pylori are completely treatable. But untreated stomach ulcers can lead to more serious problems, like internal bleeding and stomach cancer.

What is a Stomach Ulcer?

Stomach ulcers are open sores within the lining of the stomach and they can be extremely painful, especially when eating. They develop when the acids that normally help you to digest and break down food damage the lining of the stomach or the small intestine.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stomach Ulcer?

Signs that you may have a stomach ulcer include nausea, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, burping, loss of appetite and difficulty tolerating eating due to pain. A person may feel full too soon while eating a meal or feel uncomfortably full after eating a meal. As a result of difficulties eating and with digestion, many people reduce their food intake leading to weight loss.

People may not develop symptoms until an ulcer leads to complications.

What Causes Stomach Ulcers?

70% of stomach ulcers is caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori. (2)

Ulcers may also be caused by overuse of painkillers, such as aspirin (Bayer), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn).

What Tests are Done to Diagnose a Stomach Ulcer?

An endoscopy involves a small, thin tube with a camera attached being inserted down the throat and into the stomach. It allows your doctor to see and diagnose an ulcer. Your doctor can also take a sample of your stomach lining or run tests of your blood, breath, or stool to test for H. pylori bacteria.

How to Treat Stomach Ulcers Naturally?

To effectively treat stomach ulcers, you need to first address the underlying cause. So if you have a H. pylori infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotic medications, which may include amoxicillin, tetracycline, clarithromycin or bismuth subsalicylate.

To address stomach ulcers through diet, here are 7 nutrition recommendations:

1. Consume a High Fiber Diet
High-fiber foods can prevent excess stomach acid secretion, which can reduce ulcer pain and protect the stomach lining as the ulcer heals.

Many high-fiber foods are also good sources of polyphenols, plant chemicals that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and protective properties that work to improve healing.

2. Consume Broccoli
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that exhibits anti-H. pylori activity. In one study involving people with H. pylori infection, eating 70 grams of broccoli sprouts per day reduced stomach inflammation and significantly reduced infection. (3)

Check out our delicious vegetarian broccoli stir fry

3. Consume Foods High in Antioxidants and Flavonoids
If your stomach ulcer is caused by an H. pylori infection, foods that are rich in antioxidants may be beneficial. They can help activate your immune system and help fight the infection. They may also help protect against stomach cancer.

Flavonoids are a phytonutrient found in certain fruits and vegetables, in particular berries can help protect the stomach lining by defending the lining of the stomach and allowing ulcers to heal.

In one laboratory study, extracts of various berries inhibited the growth of H. pylori. (4) There is also some evidence to suggest that unsweetened cranberry juice may be useful in treating H. pylori infection. (5)

Check out this delicious berry smoothie for a high antioxidant breakfast.

4. Olive oil
Some research shows that the fatty acids contained in olive oil can also help treat an H. pylori infection. In one study, people with H. pylori infection took various doses of olive oil every day for 14 days. The results were mixed, but the researchers concluded that olive oil might be moderately effective in treating H. pylori infection. (6)

5. Probiotics and Fermented Foods
Studies have shown that probiotics may be helpful in wiping out H. pylori. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces supplements have shown benefits in people with H. pylori ulcers. (7) Consuming fermented foods such as plain Greek yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and tempeh are loaded with probiotics to help fight off the H.pylori infection.

6. Raw Honey
Raw pure honey can contain 100’s of compounds and nutrients, including but not limited to polyphenols and antioxidants. Honey is also a powerful antibacterial and has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth. Manuka honey and Oaktree honey in particular are particularly potent. (8)

Check out our stomach ulcer soothing smoothie which contains raw honey, berries and kefir!

7. Focus on Therapeutic Herbs
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (taken one hour before meals) and curcumin extract (the active component of turmeric) have shown promise in some ulcer research due to their action against H. pylori. (9,10)

For more information on turmeric and its health benefits including anti-cancer check out this article.

8. Drink Green Tea
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in many plant foods that can be used to manage stomach ulcers. Polyphenols in green tea can help calm inflammation and help to strengthen the tissue that lines the stomach. (11)

Check out our yummy matcha green tea recipe!

9. Consume Foods High in vitamin A
There’s evidence that this nutrient can help shrink stomach ulcers and may also play a role in preventing them. Foods with a good dose of vitamin A include spinach, kale, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, and beef liver.

Check out our sweet potato and pomegranate salad loaded with antioxidants, fiber and vitamin A.

10. Foods to Avoid When you Have a Stomach Ulcer
Ulcers can often cause acid reflux therefore you want to avoid foods that are acid forming or contribute to acid reflux.

To reduce acid reflux pain, you may want to limit these acid forming foods:

• coffee and other caffeinated beverages
• carbonated beverages
• chocolate
• chilies and hot peppers
• processed foods
• refined grains such as white bread, white pasta and white rice
• foods with a high amount of salt
• deep-fried foods
• acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes


Stomach ulcers can be extremely painful and problematic but implementing nutrition support can not only help address the underlying cause of the ulcer (such as H. pylori) but can better help manage symptoms and support the healing process.

Give us a call and we can provide you with an individualised program to help you manage and address your stomach ulcer.

Stay happy and healthy



  1. [1] Ingram RJM, Ragunath K, Atherton JC. Chapter 56: Peptic ulcer disease. In: Podolsky DK, Camilleri M, Fitz G, et al, eds. Yamada’s Textbook of Gastroenterology. 6th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016:1032–1077.
  2. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003840.pub5/full
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5047973/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15543930/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18343637/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22759331/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26051728/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758027/
  9. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/licorice-root
  10. https://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v22/i9/2736.htm
  11. Muni Raja Lakshmi K, Kiran M, Sai Prasanna K. A review on natural plants for phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities. J Drug Delivery Ther. 2021;11(2):232-236. doi: 10.22270/jddt.v11i2.4593
6 Nutrient Deficiencies That Could Be Causing Or Contributing To Your Depression

6 Nutrient Deficiencies That Could Be Causing Or Contributing To Your Depression

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

Everywhere I look these days people are struggling with depression and anxiety. Teenagers, mom’s, older people, even in young kids! Mental health was already reaching a crisis point prior to the pandemic, and following this it has become at an all-time high, even though life has gone back to (relative) normal. By 2030, experts report that major depressive disorder (MDD) will become the main contributor to disease burden globally, and The Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on depression states that depression is already a global health crisis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 5% of adults (300 million people) worldwide live with depression, but about 75% of people with depression don’t get the treatment they need. About half of individuals diagnosed with depression also have a history of one or more anxiety diagnoses. So often people are dealing with multiple mental health problems.

The first course of action is for people to go to their family doctor and be put on antidepressants. But those can often come with many side effects and do not always work effectively. There can be a number of underlying reasons for depression and these are rarely explored by your doctor. It is important that these should be looked at to determine potential underlying issues and subsequently the best treatment approach.


Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies can cause or contribute to depression

Vitamins and minerals, although needed in smaller amounts in the body, are crucial for our body and brain to function effectively. Research shows that deficiencies in vitamins B6, B12, folate, vitamin D, zinc and magnesium can all contribute to depression. Research also shows that low levels of B6, B12 and folic acid are excellent predictors of low mood.


Depression and Methylation

There is a process in our body called methylation, which is responsible for keeping thousands of neurotransmitters, hormones and other essential biochemicals in balance. Methylation is an important factor in determining your mood, motivation, concentration and ability to deal with stress. If you have problems with methylation this can contribute to high homocysteine levels.

Homocysteine is a toxic amino acid, so we always want to keep homocysteine levels in the body low. That’s where vitamins B12, B6 and folate come in. They help to break down homocysteine to create other chemicals your body needs. Without treatment, elevated homocysteine increases your risk of depression. Research shows that the higher your homocysteine levels the more likely you can feel depressed and demotivated. (1)

Studies have shown that over half of people with severe depression were found to have high homocysteine levels and high levels of homocysteine can double the risk of having depression. (1) High homocysteine levels are common in individuals with a folate or B12 deficiency and in those suffering from depression who have a poor response to anti-depressants. (2,3) So you may want to consider as part of your treatment to get blood work done and have your homocysteine levels as well as your B6 and B12 tested.


Folic Acid and Depression

Poor folic acid intake is found in up to 38% of people with diagnosed with depression and many notice improvements when they increase their intake of folic rich foods. (5) Folic acid is essential for nerve cell growth and maintenance as well personality and mood. Depressed patients who are folic acid deficient may be less responsive to antidepressant medications.

Research in men showed that men who had the highest blood levels of folic acid had half the risk of developing depression. (4) Another study of 15,000 people showed that the lower the persons folate levels in the blood the greater their risk of depression. (5)

Folic acid is found in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and beans but is easily destroyed when food is cooked too long, reheated or cooked in large amounts of water such as boiling instead of the preferable method of light steaming.

Try our pesto baked eggs recipe which is loaded with folic acid as well as vitamin D.


Vitamin B6 and Depression

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in mood regulation. Several studies have shown that depressive symptoms are associated with low blood levels of B6 and a diet low in B6. (6) B6 is necessary for creating neurotransmitters that regulate emotions, including serotonin (that makes us happy), dopamine (that helps us feel motivation and the sense of pleasure) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) (that helps us feel calm and relaxed). Therefore, it plays a crucial role in managing our moods and feelings. (7)

Vitamin B6 may also play a role in decreasing high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which have been linked to depression and other psychiatric issues. (8,9) Although the research doesn’t necessarily show that supplementing with B6 can help with depression, this might mean that a more collaborative approach of taking a B complex with B12 and folic acid might be a more effective strategy. It also gives you better bang for your buck in terms of cost with taking all the B vitamins at once.

Loaded in B6, Folic acid and zinc try this simple spinach scramble recipe.


Vitamin B12 and Depression

Researchers found that a decrease in the vitamin B12 levels in the blood correlates with an increase in depression and that high vitamin B12 status may be associated with better treatment outcomes of depression. (10) One possible connection is the effect of vitamin B12 on the levels of serotonin in your brain, in addition to other chemicals. B12 is an important nutrient needed in the methylation process. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products so vegetarians, people with digestive disorders such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease or people who have low stomach acid are more at risk of a deficiency. Stomach acid naturally diminishes as we age (over 40) so older people are also at greater risk of a B12 deficiency. For example, in a study of 700 elderly women, those with vitamin B12 deficiencies were twice as likely as others to be severely depressed. (11)

Vitamin B12 supplementation in conjunction with antidepressants has been shown significantly improve depressive symptoms. (12) So, this might be a great option to enhance the effects of your medication.

Looking for a delicious meal that is high in B12, try our classic beef roast recipe!


Vitamin D and Depression

There are Vitamin D receptors found in the areas of the brain that are linked to the development of depression. Canadian researchers reviewed 14 studies, consisting of over 31,000 participants and found a strong correlation between depression and a lack of Vitamin D. The lower the Vitamin D level, the greater the chance of depression. (14)

Vitamin D can be obtained through foods, but this is limited. Most of our vitamin D comes from the sun and our skin’s ability to make Vitamin D. For some individuals obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin D through exposure to UV light throughout the year is nearly impossible. The best way to get the vitamin D that you need is to supplement. Ideally it is best to get your vitamin D levels checked as you may require significant higher doses if you are low.

Ideally supplementing between 1000-3000 IUs a day is a good starting point. Try our delicious Vitamin D rich rosemary walnut crusted salmon recipe.


Zinc and Depression

Zinc is important for helping to balance blood sugars, stabilise your metabolism, and make serotonin. In one study low zinc levels in the blood were strongly linked with increased risk for depression and this might be one nutrient that you need to increase in your diet. (16)

One study showed that supplementing with 25 mg of zinc improved recovery in people with depression that did not respond to anti-depressants. (17) If you are low in zinc, you may experience frequent colds and flu, loss or diminished sense of smell and taste, lack of appetite and of course depression.

Loaded in zinc, try our yummy coconut yogurt clusters.



Magnesium helps to make serotonin which can help combat depression. Research shows that there is a significant link between low magnesium intake and depression in adults. (18)

Studies are also showing that over-the-counter magnesium may be a safe and effective way to treat mild to moderate depression and comparable to prescription SSRI treatments in effectiveness as well as for individuals that have not seen any improvements with taking antidepressants. One study showed that magnesium was just as effective as an anti-depressant in treating depression in diabetics with the added of bonus of not having any of the side effects of the antidepressants and in other studies it has shown that in conjunction with an antidepressant the benefits of the antidepressant was stronger. (19,20)

Food processing, taking antacids and diuretics, as well as caffeine, stress and alcohol can decrease our ability to absorb magnesium. Try our quick and easy broccoli mushroom fried quinoa recipe loaded in B6, magnesium, zinc and folic acid.



If you or your loved one struggles with depression, make sure you explore potential underlying causes of depression that could be contributing to your low mood. This might help provide you with better or more specific treatment options that can give you a lot of success in helping to boost your mood.

Make sure if you visit your doctor you get blood work to check vitamin B12, folic acid, B6, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc. Increasing your intake of food high in these nutrients and possibly supplementing might help to give you that added boost to your mood and help get you out of that funk.


1. H. Tiemeier, et al. Vitamin B12, folate and homocysteine in depression: The Rotterdam study, American Journal of psychiatry, 2002:159 (12): 2099-101, T. Bottiglieri, et al., Homocysteine, folate, methylation and monamine metabolism in depression, Jounral of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry, 2000;69;228-32; M. Fava and T. Bottiglerri, et al Folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine in major depressive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 1997;154;426-8

2. BMC Psychiatry. 2003;3:17–22. 16. Tiemeier H, vanTuijl HR, Hofman A, Meijer J, Kiliaan AJ, Breteler MM.

3. Vitamin B12 folate and homocysteine in depression the Rotterdam Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2002;159(12):2099–01. 17. Sachdev PS, Parslow RA, Lux O, et al. Relationship of homocysteine folic acid and vitamin B12 with depression in a middle aged community sample. Psychol Med. 2005;35(4):529–38.)

4. A. Nanri, et al., Serum folate and homocysteine and depressive symptoms among Japenese men and women, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2010;64 (2):289-96

5. S. Gilbody, et al., Is low folate a risk for depression? A meta-analysis and exploration of heterogeneity, Journal of Epidemiology and Community health, July 2007;61 (7): 631-7

6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15479988/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20519557/

7. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B6 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18494537/

8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17541043/

9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17729191/

10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15671130/

11. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling.

12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856388/

13. Spedding, S. (2014). Vitamin D and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and without Biological Flaws. Nutrients, 6(4), 1501–1518. doi: 10.3390/nu6041501

14. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, St Joseph’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

15. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02008.x,

16. Rafalo, A., Sowa-Kucma, M., Pochwat, B., Nowak, G., & Szewczyk, B. (2016). Zinc Deficiency and Depression. Nutritional Deficiency. doi: 10.5772/63210

17. M. Siwek, et al., Zinc supplementation augments efficacy of imipramine in treatment resistant patients: A double blind placebo controlled study, Journal of Affective Disorders, November 2009;118(1-3): 187-95, Department of Psychiatry, Jagiellonian University, Poland

18. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2015;28(2):249-256. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2015.02.140176

19. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B, MacLean CD, Kennedy AG, Daley C. Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. Song Y, ed. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(6):e0180067. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180067

20. 1.Tarleton EK, Kennedy AG, Rose GL, Crocker A, Littenberg B. The association between serum magnesium levels and depression in an adult primary care population. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1475. doi:10.3390/nu11071475

Top 6 Foods To Fight Depression

Top 6 Foods To Fight Depression

Juice Plus Gummies

Mental health challenges are linked to low diet quality. Research found people who ate more unhealthy food were more likely to report psychological distress compared with people that eat a healthier diet. More specifically, eating fried foods or foods contain too much sugar and processed grains is linked to depression. (Jim E. Banta, Ph.D., et. Al 2019)

A recent study posted to BMC Medicine demonstrated that even people with moderate to severe depression improved their mood and signs of depression by eating a more healthful diet. The study was the first to prove that diet alone could reduce depression symptoms. The dieters followed a specific program for 12 weeks that included one-on-one nutrition counselling. The treatment diet encouraged eating whole foods while discouraging things such as refined foods, sweets, and fried food. The results: Participants showed greatly reduced symptoms when compared to other groups. In addition, more than 32 percent of participants experienced remission, so were no longer considered depressed. Jacka, O’Neil et al 2017.

But what are the specific foods or nutrients we should be consuming to help support a healthy mood? Below are our top 6!

  1. Good fats fight depression

Research shows that people who consumed the most fish were less likely to experience symptoms of depression (the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health). Given that a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of salmon provides 2,260 mg of EPA and DHA, eating this fish a few times per week is a great way to get these fats into your diet. The best oily fish to consume to get your EPA and DHA includes salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring, halibut, rainbow trout and tuna.

Check out our Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast for a 3-minute recipe to help you consume for healthy fats!

A recent review of clinical studies concluded that taking fish oil supplements improved depressive symptoms in people with depression, with effects comparable to those of antidepressant medications. However, the greatest improvements in depressive symptoms seemed to occur in people who were also taking antidepressants. Additionally, people tended to see greater effects when the fish oil supplement contained higher doses of EPA (1). This might likely be due to its anti-inflammatory properties since inflammation can contribute to depressive symptoms.

The fish oil supplement that we recommend that has been formulated specifically for depression is NFH Trident SAP. Check it out in our online dispensary!

  1. Your morning cup of coffee “pick me up”

Although coffee has its positives and negatives there is no mistaking it is an integral part of  many people’s morning routine. But interesting enough, it might also be helping to beat off the blues.

The caffeine in coffee prevents a naturally occurring compound called adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness, therefore increasing alertness and attention (2). Since depression can often cause people to feel low motivation and fatigue this can help to give them that much needed boost.

Moreover, coffee increases the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine (3). A study in 72 people found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee significantly improved mood compared with a placebo beverage, suggesting that coffee contains other compounds that influence mood. Researchers attributed this boost in attitude to various phenolic compounds, such as chlorogenic acid. Although still, more research is needed (3).

#3. Eat your Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is high in health-promoting flavonoids, which have been shown to increase blood flow to your brain, reduce inflammation, and boost brain health, all of which may support mood regulation (4, 5).

Finally, chocolate has a high hedonic rating, meaning that its pleasurable taste, texture, and smell may also promote good mood (6,7).

Because milk chocolate contains added ingredients like sugar and fat, it’s best to opt for dark chocolate—which is higher in flavonoids and lower in added sugar. You should still stick to 1–2 small squares (of 70% or more cocoa solids) at a time since it’s a high calorie food. We’ve also create this Chocolate Bark recipe, if you want to super-power your daily dose of chocolate.

#4 . Berries every day keep the blues away

Curiously, eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to lower rates of depression (8,9). Although the mechanism isn’t clear, a diet rich in antioxidants may help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders (10).

Berries pack a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which play a key role in combatting oxidative stress—an imbalance of harmful compounds known as free radicals in your body (10). They’re particularly high in anthocyanins, a pigment that gives certain berries their red-purple-blue colours. One study associated a diet rich in anthocyanins with a 39% lower risk of depression symptoms (11).

A study recently concluded that blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries may block the chemicals that cause depression and anxiety (12), while another recent study found that people who drank a glass of pomegranate juice (with no added sugar) each day for two weeks had measurably less depression and anxiety, as well as lower blood pressure (13). If you find it difficult to include enough fruits and veggies in your diet, check out this supplement option.

  1. Go Nuts for Cashews

Cashews are high in tryptophan, which, helps increase levels of that happiness-inducing neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Cashews are actually one of the best sources of the amino acid tryptophan among all plant-based foods with 1000-2000 milligrams per 1/4 cup serving. This amino acid is critical for improving the uptake of serotonin in the brain and acts as a direct precursor to the anti-depressant hormone itself. Cashews are a tiny package of iron, magnesium, Vitamin B6, protein and important amino acids, and even omega 3 fats. All of these nutrients directly ward off mild depression and anxiety naturally.

So, without tryptophan in our diets, we not only can’t produce serotonin as effectively, but our bodies also can’t use the amount of serotonin that we do have. A depletion of serotonin can make us feel anxious, stressed, and just downright sad.

Consuming just a small a handful of cashews can help boost your serotonin levels!

#6. Have a Go with Avocados

Avocado is a superfood when it comes to depression as it contains tryptophan, folate AND omega-3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps combat inflammation in the brain and also helps regulate our brain’s neurotransmitters helping our brain to run smoothly.

Three-fourths of the calories in an avocado are from fat, mostly monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. An average avocado also contains 4 grams of protein, higher than other fruits, and is filled with vitamin K, many of the B vitamins (B9, B6, and B5), vitamin C, and vitamin E12. Finally, they are low in sugar and high in dietary fibre, containing about 11 grams each.

The high levels of folate in avocados may help keep depression symptoms at bay. Foods containing high levels of folate may help to decrease the risk of depression because folate helps to prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain. Excess homocysteine can also interfere with the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep, and appetite.


In summary, you can help yourself beat the blues by reducing your intake of sugar, refined grains and fried foods and incorporating more berries, avocados, oily fish, raw cashews, dark chocolate, and a morning cup of coffee into your diet. Remember, it’s making small do-able simples changes into your diet on a daily basis that can take you a long way to a happier and healthier you!



  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4872453/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519049/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30274327/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24117885/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29539647/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24117885/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16546266/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30764679/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26691768/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29662448/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29695122/
  12. Keservani RK, Sharma AK, Kesharwani RK. Medicinal Effect of Nutraceutical Fruits for the Cognition and Brain HealthScientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:3109254.  doi:10.1155/2016/3109254
  13. Al-Dujaili E, Smail N. Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and womenEndocr Abstr. 2012;28:313.

Hidden Secret Behind Low Mood and Depression

Hidden Secret Behind Low Mood and Depression

Waking up every day with no energy, no drive, and an underlying feeling of discomfort is the norm for millions of people in Canada. Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders have quickly become the leading reason for prescription drug use over the last 20 years.

With over 9% of Canadians (approximately 9 million people) taking anti-depressants it has never been more important to understand the underlying cause of brain and mood disorders and medical science is starting to connect the dots….

The stomach has been coined the “second brain” because the tissue in the gastrointestinal tract is largely nerve tissue. In fact the gastrointestinal tract contains over 100 million neurons more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. Not only do these nerves in the gut travel to the brain and communicate with one another but there is a growing amount of research that bacteria in the gut can have a impact on brain health and that gut bacteria can significantly influence the communication between the brain and the gut.

Scientists have also discovered that certain bacteria have the special ability to generate that “feel good” mood.

Some beneficial bacteria that have taken up residence in the gut will actually increase GABA receptors in the brain. When there are more GABA receptors in the brain, more GABA is being put to good use. This is a good thing, especially since a decrease in GABA receptors has been associated with mood disorders, like chronic depression.

When it comes to supporting gut health it is important to avoid foods that feed the “bad” bacteria, the food they love is sugar! Candida will actually send signals to your brain and cause you to crave sugar and the myotoxins that these yeast organisms release are toxic such as alcohol and formaldehyde. These substances travel up in the brain and can affect our brain chemistry.

We need to support healthy gut bacteria by ensuring healthy digestion and eating foods high in probiotics such as kefir, plain yogurt, pickles, miso, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi.

Here are some more tips to proper digestive function

  • Chew food well – The mouth is the first stage of digestion. If whole pieces of food are passed down into the system it leads to stress on the pancreas and can cause an overgrowth of unwanted bacteria.
  • Limit sugar in the diet – Sugar is a metabolic nightmare. When ingested is causes stress on the liver, pancreas, and encourages the growth of unwanted bacteria. Sugar also triggers insulin production. Insulin is the backbone of the endocrine system. When insulin levels become imbalanced it causes a chain reaction and will throw off the rest of the body’s hormone levels.
  • Limit stimulants in the diet – Stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and salt cause the stomach to go into shock and reduces its function. When the stomach is not functioning properly it will allow whole proteins to enter the small intestine causing strain on the pancreas and encouraging growth of unwanted bacteria.
  • Increase fibre from whole foods – Fibre works to gently cleanse the digestive tract of unwanted bacteria, balances blood sugar and provides good bacteria a source of food.
  • Exercise – The digestive system is dependent upon smooth muscle movement and gravity to help the food move through the gut. Exercise helps to tone the smooth muscle and aids in allowing the food to pass through the system.