Author: Lily Mazzarella
Anxiety, depression, irritability…states we think of as “just how things are” could be a result of inflammation. We’ve known for a while that depressed people have higher inflammation markers - but recent research indicates that in a subset of people, inflammation is a causative factor in depression. Several exciting studies suggest that curcumin, an anti-inflammatory extract from turmeric, is effective in treating major depression, especially in a subset of people with atypical depression. Of course, low mood (and inflammation) may be amplified in the time of Covid, as we navigate various stressors and losses--and, for many people, an unprecedented level of social isolation.
Both stress and isolation raise levels of metabolism-disrupting cortisol, as well as the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-a. Feeling stress about being inflamed from your isolation is a triple whammy of sorts, and something we hope a good dose of self-compassion, self-soothing practices and connecting with others at a distance can mitigate. But anyhow you slice it, this is a hard, hard time. One of the ways to deal with overwhelm, anxiety and a sense of hopelessness is to engage with something you DO have control over. For a great discussion on this, we recommend heading over to Krista Tippet's podcast On Being to hear her interview psychologist Dr. Pauline Boss on how to deal with "ambiguous loss."
An anti-inflammatory diet does not have to feel restrictive--in fact, it can be quite liberating to eat in alignment with how you actually want to be eating. And when you start feeling real results (which can happen pretty quickly!!) you get an extra boost of feel-good neurotransmitters to help you on your way. You can get control of your inflammation by changing your diet, using anti-inflammatory botanical medicines, and healing your gut. Regaining your health is an incredibly empowering process. At Farmacopia, we study inflammatory conditions and functional nutrition and have guided hundreds of people through this process. Our Summer Inflammation Soother is a really approachable and affordable way to test this out. The Summer Inflammation Soother Guide is a free digital download. That's pretty affordable! Once you start reading it you'll be excited to try it. And the recipes! So good!
📸 : @jimmymarble