Last year, when I finally reached a point where the years of not taking care of myself caught up with me in a big way, I knew my overall health was poor, but the doctor also began addressing how my health was directly linked to other issues like depression. For as long as I can remember I have had what is commonly known as “high functioning depression.” It is the type of depression that is almost impossible for most people to recognize in others because those of us who struggle with it are not the people who can’t get out of bed in the morning (sometimes I thought it would be nice to be that type of depressed because at least then people recognize how much you struggle). To be high functioning means you are among the people who keep going while dying inside.
Life is short and the last thing we need is to simply survive each day. I truly believe God meant for us to live a “rich and satisfying life.” Part of living that life, for me, has been taking steps to where I can wake up without an overall sense of anxiety and depression.
While I have absolutely no problem with someone taking an antidepressant, I wanted to find a way to treat my symptoms naturally. I began the process of healing my gut and also began eating one food that has made an incredible difference: raw Brazil nuts. When I began my journey toward becoming healthier the doctor recommended several things I could do, including eating 4 raw Brazil nuts every day. As I implemented the changes he encouraged me to make, I began to see my depression lift and have felt less melancholy this year than I have in my entire life. To steal a line from Finding Nemo, “I feel…happy. And for me that’s a big deal.”
It’s a big deal when you feel like you are doing more than surviving each day. I could go on and on about the nutritional benefits of Brazil nuts, but Dr. Axe has already done a fantastic job, so check out his article on the 5 Amazing Benefits of Brazil Nuts.
Growing up in ultra-conservative circles, depression was occasionally mentioned in the context of the depressed person needing to focus more on being grateful to God. It was viewed exclusively as a spiritual problem. And let me tell you: there is nothing worse than being severely depressed and feeling like it’s your fault. People struggle with depression for a number of reasons. There are times I have struggled with depression simply because depressing things happened to me. But my depression has been almost entirely a physical issue (no wonder I could not pray myself out of it). If you have a family history of people who struggle with depression, consider that your melancholy may be primarily genetic.
Over the past year, as I have focused on healing my gut and as I have enjoyed Brazil nuts each day, I have felt the depression lift. I don’t really know when I stopped feeling depressed. I only know one day I no longer felt like someone fighting to breathe. There are no words to truly describe how amazing it feels to not struggle through each day with intense depression. I still have occasional moments of feeling blue but they are moments, not the way I wake up feeling every single day.
One of the things I love the most about not struggling with intense depression is that I can actually engage more with other people. I’m still an introvert who thrives on solitude, but I have found myself genuinely enjoying new friendships and wanting to spend more time with family and friends. I’m not a doctor or psychiatrist, so I can’t guarantee this will work for you. If you’re struggling with depression, though, I highly recommend eating Brazil nuts every single day.
Let me know if you try eating raw Brazil nuts and how it works for you!