Depression and Microbes

I was talking to my son about life and asked him why we have the highest rate of suicide in the history of the world when we live in the most advanced time in the history of the world. The answer we came up with is that most people do not understand the purpose of life, especially their own. This sad commentary is not wholly a lack of faith. This faulty thinking is also due to a lack of nutrition.

Depression is the real silent killer. It was a big part of my life. I didn’t realize what it was that affected me in so many ways until I got married.

Newlyweds–it is supposed to be bliss and fun. Why did I feel like this person had turned into my enemy and was causing me to be miserable? Fortunately, I had family members who quickly recognized the signs of depression, having dealt with it in their own lives. What a relief. My husband really wasn’t trying to make me unhappy and I was not the Wicked Witch of the West. The enemy had a name, depression. Now maybe we could fight it.

What were our options? At first glance counseling and medication. Fortunately for me, my parents were not big on chemicals and medications that came with side effects so I looked carefully at these routes. Being cautious kept the blinders off and as we looked at the potential benefits, we also saw the many negative side effects. Is it just me or are you also tired of a world that pops pills, with all the known side effects, because they feel that is their only choice? There must be a better way! We thought so too and found a natural supplement that was very helpful. However, the biggest help came through a tragic accident.

blog-Son1After 3 days in the hospital, due to an accident, my 4 month son came home and was just fine. However, the stress created thrush or yeast infections in both of us. Though extremely painful, I was not willing to quit nursing. There is nothing like pain to make you look for solutions! After researching my options I decided to go off of sugars, processed and natural. After a couple of weeks the thrush was gone but due to my research I knew it would come back if I did not stay on the diet longer. I went 30 days and then added back in fruits and natural sugars. This was the beginning of my journey to discover what is good for us and what is not. The interesting thing was, going off of processed sugars and flours helped A LOT with depression. As I have continued to learn about nutrition I have come to understand the chemical effect processed sugars have on our bodies. Along with confusing our bodies chemically, they block absorption of the nutrients we need and clog up our filters. Lack of essential nutrients is one of the reasons depression is so high in our culture and is on the rise, in spite of the increased technology and use of medication.

Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of candida, a microbe that wreaks havoc on our digestive system. This microbe is always there but if unchecked by good bacteria and fed sugars it soon takes over. Our digestive systems are beautifully created to glean nutrients from our foods. When this intricate system is disrupted or damaged all of our systems suffer.

Science is a work in progress but sometimes mistakes are made as we try to improve. In the book Defending Beef, the author tells about a dilemma the scientist, Allon Savory, faced. His studies showed that a track of land was being damaged by animals, namely elephants. His research showed that they needed to kill up to 30,000 elephants to stop further damage and allow the land to heal. No one wanted to see this happen but after extensive debate all the scientists involved agreed that it was needed. Believe it or not, 20,000 elephants were killed, and then the sad truth became evident. The land was not being damaged by elephants and their removal actually caused further deterioration to the health of the soil. The scientists’ understanding of and theories about the impact animals have on the land was faulty. Allon Savory went on to do real research over the last 20+ years and has shown the necessity of animals in maintaining and improving the health of the land.

blog-Cows1As with the candida overgrowth I was fighting in my stomach, the health of our land, the plants, and the animals boils down to feeding and nurturing good microbes. We can’t do this by killing the bad microbes. When we kill with chemicals, they are no respecter of beneficial or detrimental microbes. Chemical pesticides and fungicides kill all the microbiology. Our road of discovery has shown us the absolute necessity of creating good microbiology–whether in our intestines or our soils. Chemicals, no matter the form, are death to good microbes. The bad will be kept in balance and even disappear as you create the right environment for the good. The way we have abused our bodies and our lands makes it seem like this task would be long and daunting. Surprisingly, when given half a chance, healing can take place relatively quickly. You start with a little of the right components and the good microbes appear, seemingly out of nowhere, go to work eating and reproducing and repairing and healing as they go. That is why yogurt, probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes and so forth have become so popular. Our culture is trying to reestablish some of the beneficial bugs in our digestive systems. We need to do the same in our soils. Joel Salatin, a pioneer in this process, is a great example of what can be done by correct management. “Purchased by my mom and dad in 1961, the farm has gone from a worn out, gullied weedpatch that couldn’t even pay a salary to one that employs 10 people with more than a million dollars in sales. And it’s still experiencing exponential growth. Lush pastures supported by ecstatic copulating earthworms testify to the healing.” Joel Salatin

Does it seem far fetched to say that microbes in the soil are related to depression? We need to heal our soils and bring back the nutrients in our foods that we need for good mental health. Everything from the veggies we eat to the meat we consume benefit from good microbiology in the soil. Joel Salatin, along with others, have proven that focusing on good microbiology heals lands, increases quality in the plants grown on that soil and any animals fed on that diet turn those nutrient-packed plants into nutrient-packed meat. All of this is done without any harmful inputs, additives, or hormones, just good solid microbial health. The results of using God given, free, effective, microscopic power bugs is nothing short of miraculous. Sometimes science needs to trust the science that is already in place and, given the chance, works remarkably well, trusting the process that has worked for thousands of years.

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Let’s take the next step and work together toward a healthier tomorrow.