A common side effect of cancer and its symptoms is depression and some form of anxiety. The Budwig Center helps patients fight these emotional side effects from day 1 of the programs.
The Budwig Diet – A Weapon Against Depression
A key ingredient to successfully fight against depression and anxiety is the chemical messenger called serotonin, often dubbed the mood stabilizer. When we increase serotonin levels, we automatically feel less anxious and happier. Where can we get our hands on this effective weapon against depression? We need to consume foods rich in tryptophan. Interestingly, serotonin is synthesized by tryptophan.
One of the richest sources of serotonin is cottage cheese. The main ingredients in the Budwig mix are cottage cheese and flaxseed oil (or freshly ground flaxseeds). In addition to serotonin, high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids also help with stress. Hemp seeds, Chia seeds, and walnuts, – all part of the Budwig diet – are very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, gravitate towards fruits that are high in tryptophan such as pineapple, avocado, apples, berries, and tomatoes.
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Your Gut – The Key to Your Health
Scientists have nicknamed the gut our “second brain.” The father of medicine, Hippocrates, believed that the key to our health was in our intestines. Which makes sense since 70 to 80 percent of our immune tissue is located in the digestive tract. A robust immune system is necessary to overcome depression.
Moreover, because the nerve cells in the gut manufacture up to 95% of the body’s serotonin, taking good care of our digestive system is a must (3). To effectively and naturally favor the healthy bacteria in the gut, Dr. Joanna Budwig gave her patients fresh sauerkraut juice and fermented foods. Thus improving digestion and strengthening the immune system.
A study, done by Dr. Garnet Cheney of Stanford Medical school, showed fresh raw cabbage juice to be very beneficial for patients suffering from ulcers, stomach pain, acid reflux, and gastrointestinal ulceration (4).
Included in each clinical program at the Budwig Center are healthy and delicious meals. Our nutritionist and kitchen staff not only prepare Budwig approved meals for those who enroll in our programs, but also provide training sessions. Thus, patients (and their family members, friends, and caregivers) learn the value of each ingredient and how they can prepare the very same meals themselves.
Our patients go home with an official Budwig Guide loaded with recipes, allowing them to continue preparing and enjoying these healthy meals when they return home.
The Golden Medicine of Sunshine and Vitamin D
In a study done on the benefits of vitamin D, people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to depression than those who had normal levels (5). The sun is one of the best natural sources of vitamin D. Dr. Budwig had her patients spend time in the sun whenever possible. Even on cloudy days, spending some time outdoors helps beneficial rays from the sun to have an impact on our system. The sunshine’s “golden medicine” is one of the many reasons why we established the clinic in the south of Spain. In this part of the world, we often enjoy more than 300 days of sun each year.
Moreover, our patients find our location has been ideal for them to step out of the “rat race” of life and to disconnect. Most find they can entirely focus on regaining their health, both physically and emotionally. The daily delights of the area such as the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, leisurely walking through the nearby parks, the relaxed Spanish lifestyle and the Mediterranean Diet, have all proved very beneficial. All these positive features and activities have contributed significantly to the success of their healing journey.
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Exercising vs. Depression
We encourage anyone who is combating depression to spend at least 20 minutes per day outdoors. A University of Toronto researcher carried out a study examining 26 years of research. The results revealed that there was a vast improvement in mood levels for those who spent as little as 20 minutes in the sun. The study also confirmed, “that even low levels of physical activity (walking and gardening for 20-30 minutes a day) can ward off depression in people of all age groups (6).”
Movement is essential. It aids our circulatory system and assists the body to produce endorphins and encephalin – also known as “happy hormones.” A walk in a park, cycling, swimming in the sea or a lake for 30 minutes are forms of exercise that most people can tolerate at levels specific to their physical condition.
Emotional Therapies at Budwig Center
At the Budwig Center, we use various psychological therapies to help patients find balance as they work to recover their health. These include the EVOX system which measures and tracts the frequencies within your body to determine if there are any emotional blocks. We also offer EFT Tapping, and we have a trained kinesiologist that can detect emotional imbalances and correct them.
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Using the Budwig Protocol, Budwig Center offers clinical and home care distance programs to help people with cancer. We understand that cancer is not just a physical ailment but has an emotional impact as well. Therefore, we treat the whole person using diet, emotional healing therapies. We also encourage specific lifestyle changes. Embracing new healthy habits and making adjustments to one’s thinking help combat depression and anxiety and spur you on in the cancer healing journey.
- Priory Group, “Every two seconds somebody Googles ‘depression’ in the UK”: http://www.priorygroup.com/blog/mental-health/every-two-seconds-somebody-googles-depression-in-the-uk
- European Agency for Safety and Health at Work; “Calculating the cost of work-related stress and psychosocial risks,” page 7, section 2.1., Costs at a societal level: https://osha.europa.eu/en/tools-and-publications/publications/literature_reviews/calculating-the-cost-of-work-related-stress-and-psychosocial-risks
- Scientific American, “Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being”: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/
- National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, “RAPID HEALING OF PEPTIC ULCERS IN PATIENTS RECEIVING FRESH CABBAGE JUICE”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1643665/
- University Health News, “10 Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms You Can Identify Yourself”: https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/10-vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms-that-you-can-identify-yourself/
- The University of Toronto, U of T News, “To prevent depression: walk 20 minutes a day”: https://www.utoronto.ca/news/prevent-depression-walk-20-minutes-day
- National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, “International variations in the outcome of schizophrenia and the prevalence of depression in relation to national dietary practices: an ecological analysis”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15123503