We welcome patients from all over the world who have chosen our clinic to help them with their cancer healing journey. One common side effect we notice with many who battle cancer and its symptoms is the subsequent challenge with depression and some form of anxiety. The Budwig Center helps patients fight these emotional side effects from day 1 of their programs.
The Budwig Protocol – A Weapon against Depression
A key ingredient to successfully fight 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 from which serotonin is synthesized.
One of the richest sources of serotonin is cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is used in the Budwig mix along with flaxseed oil and 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 our digestive tract. A strong immune system is necessary to overcome depression and since the nerve cells in our 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 our gut, Dr. Joanna Budwig gave her patients fresh sauerkraut juice and fermented foods, 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 ulcerations (4).
Included in each clinical program at the Budwig Center are healthy and delicious meals approved by the Budwig Protocol. Our nutritionist not only prepares these meals for the patients but also provides training sessions where she educates patients (and their family members, friends, and caregivers) on the value of each ingredient and shows 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 be depressed than those who had normal levels (5). One of the best natural sources of vitamin D is obtained from the sun. 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 effect.
Sunshine’s “golden medicine” is one of the many reasons why we established the clinic in the south of Spain, where we often enjoy more than 300 days of sun each year.
Our patients find our location has been ideal for them to step out of the “rat race” of life, to disconnect, and to fully focus on regaining their health, both physically and emotionally. Enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, taking leisurely walks through the nearby parks, coupled with the relaxed Spanish lifestyle and the Mediterranean diet, has contributed significantly to the success of their healing journey.
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Exercising vs. Depression
If a person combating depression can spend as little as 20 minutes per day outdoors, according to a University of Toronto researcher in a study examining 26 years of research, they would see a vast improvement in their mood. 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 very important. It not only aids our circulatory system, but it also helps the body produce endorphins and encephalin, nicknamed the “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 emotional 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 and lifestyle changes that jointly help combat depression and anxiety while we help you with your 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