The Benefits of Using a Carnivore Diet and Depression Levels

The link between food and mental health is nothing new. But how does your carnivore diet affect your psychological wellbeing and stress levels? Being skeptical about the benefits that such eating habits can have on your mind is universal.  So, does the carnivore diet have any benefits related to depression? Several studies explored the positive […]
Josh Koop
March 31, 2020

The link between food and mental health is nothing new. But how does your carnivore diet affect your psychological wellbeing and stress levels? Being skeptical about the benefits that such eating habits can have on your mind is universal. 

So, does the carnivore diet have any benefits related to depression? Several studies explored the positive effects a carnivore diet can have on symptoms of depression, chronic fatigue, migraines, and anxiety. These conditions correlate with chemical imbalances in the brain. Limiting processed foods and carbohydrates can also help regulate hormone and insulin levels, which are drivers for several mental health issues.

Of course, the benefits of the carnivore diet and depression levels don't extend only to mental wellbeing. Aside from feeling happier and more energized, you can watch your body getting into the shape you have been after for years. Let's explore what you should expect from this diet!

The Link Between Mood and Food

Have you ever noticed that after a weekend of junk food, chips, and ice cream, starting the week seems much more challenging? Have you felt tired, in a lousy mood, full but low on energy? 

Well, these effects are completely normal, and they tell us that what we eat has a direct connection with our mental wellbeing

A nutritional diet supplies us with essential vitamins, proteins, and compounds. That substances are responsible for:

  • Increasing neurotransmitters which are the connectors between brain cells
  • Raising serotonin levels, which improves mood
  • Bettering the gut bacteria which, in turn, reduced inflammation, one of the drives for poor mood and cognition abilities
  • Strengthening and promoting brain development

That a diet can have either positive and negative effects on brain proteins is a fact that has been the topic of numerous researches. Some of the supplements or vitamins that are essential to protect us against mood disorders, fatigue, and decreased cognitive skills are:

  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Omega-3 and fatty acids

A carnivore diet ensures that you consume enough amounts of these essential compounds. 

In particular, the Vitamin B12 is non-existent in plant-based products and only created by grass-fed animals during their digestion process. To include enough B12 in your diet, you should focus on introducing high-quality, grass-fed cuts of meat. Moreover, zinc, iron, and omega-3 are all present in abundance in meat, eggs, and fish, such as salmon. 

Alongside getting in all the nutrients that protect your brain cells from damage and promote their development, the carnivore diet has another bonus! 

Since the menu you can feast on is limited to a handful of ingredients, you will be naturally cutting out processed foods, carbs, and sugars. As multiple studies proved, these foods, as well as refined fats, can have a detrimental effect on brain proteins. 

The only other compound that you need to promote the wellbeing and development of brain proteins is Vitamin C. 

However, by following a carnivore diet, you will experience a drastic drop in your daily intake of Vitamin C. Indeed, this substance is almost absent from most meats, eggs, and dairy (fresh beef has 16 mcg/g).

Nonetheless, Shawn Baker, one of the leading voice of the carnivore diet and limited to plant-free lifestyle, sustains that your body's need for Vitamin C decreases as you include less and less in your diet. 

Miserable and depressed young man sitting in his room - Carnivore Diet and Depression
Miserable and depressed young man sitting in his room

Benefits on Depression 

Depression, like anxiety and bipolar, is a mood disorder. Among the many different types of mental health issues, these problems are highly dependable on the surrounding environment, eating habits, exposure to specific social situations. 

While there are no studies conducted to determine the link between an all-meat diet and reduced symptoms of depression, some testimonials, and more extensive research projects can offer us precious hints.

Types of depression can vary, ranging from post-partum to seasonal or persistent depression. In each of these cases, the go-to solution is to introduce specific medications to keep the symptoms at bay.

Carnivore Diet and Depression with Paul Saladino

However, many committed carnivores, such as Mikhaila Peterson and her father, explain how swapping their old lifestyle for this innovative way of eating cured life-long health issues such as depression. 

Moreover, a few recent studies linked the Mediterranean Diet with a reduced risk of depression and anxiety. Lastly, researches show how teenagers that were following a healthy and nutritious diet were half as likely to suffer from mood disorder compared to other individuals who would indulge in junk and fast foods often. 

Eating Meat Makes You Feel Better

Both scientific and testimonial-based facts tell us that eating meat will make you feel good. Aside from increasing testosterone levels, it is filling, juicy, and packed with all the natural nutrients for a healthy life. 

If this is not enough, in the carnivore diet, you are allowed to eat your preferred type of meat without worries. Whether you are a fan of bacon, ribs, or pork chops, most will never have to worry about calories and portion counting again unless you are aiming for specific goals or results! 

Studies conducted on individuals affected by obesity show that, at the end of the trial period, the participants that had stricter restrictions were comparatively less happy and frustrated. Instead, with the carnivore diet, you can enjoy losing weight in many cases very fast and without worrying about in-depth tracking of your calories or food intake.

Healthy Living Can Give You Energy

Of course, with such an amount of meat and fat that you are putting away, your energy levels are skyrocketing! Your body does not feel sluggish while trying to source energy from carbs. 

Instead, the ketosis process leaves you less bloated, leaner, and more energized throughout the day. This benefit translates into longer gym sessions and more exercise, which can help you get fitter for longer.  

The beneficial effects of exercise on individuals affected by mood disorders include alleviation of symptoms, increased cognitive abilities, and better mood.

Woman having a depression in her bed - Carnivore Diet and Depression
Woman having a depression in her bed

The Diet Calls for a Healthier Lifestyle

The carnivore diet encourages you to have an overall much healthier lifestyle. Indeed, you will be cutting down on alcohol, sugars, carbs, processed foods, and saturated fats. 

These life choices can be incredibly hard to pick and maintain over time without strong motivation. Instead, an all-meat diet makes sure that you are satisfied with what you are eating while naturally embracing a healthier lifestyle.

Processed Foods Are Off the Menu!

Processed foods and sugars have a detrimental effect on your gut microbiome. Maintaining the health of your gut is essential as 95% of serotonin, as well as inflammation, derives from the stomach itself. 

Moreover, carbs tend to stimulate the pleasure centers of your brains during a carb-based meal. After such a lunch, however, the insulin levels in the blood will drop. 

At the same time, your body will require more carbs to compensate for the drop in insulin. This cycle is the reason why we find it hard to switch to a healthier lifestyle.

Instead, during the first month of your carnivore life, your body will adapt to the new metabolic way, allowing you to source your energy from fats and protein. As you are out of your carbs and sugar addiction-like state, you will be able to channel these the renewed mental clarity and energy in your job or physical exercise

Final Thoughts

Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, seasonal and bipolar depression, affect millions of Americans each year. Without much ability to influence feeling better without taking medications which also tend to have a long laundry list of side effects.

What's cool though is that more and more modern studies have found that individuals affected by depression respond positively to a healthy diet. 

The carnivore diet not only supplies all the nutrients you need to stay healthy mentally and physically but also promotes a healthier general lifestyle. Indeed, you won't have to worry about having to resist carbs and sweets, and you can finally make the most out of your sessions at the gym.

Sources 

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