manuka honey for anxiety

Manuka Honey for Anxiety How Diet and Superfoods Can Help Improve Mental Health

Millions of Americans each year are plagued with depression and crippling anxiety. In fact, the use of anti-depression medication over the last few years has increased by 400% in all age groups. Yet, nothing is being done to investigate why there has been such a rise in mental health disorders over the last decade. Fortunately, many pioneers in the natural health movement have made the connection that depression and anxiety are highly linked to what we eat. Research is finally beginning to study the human microbiome and its effects on both physical and mental health. Scientists have discovered that serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is often low in depressed and anxious individuals, is actually manufactured and regulated in the gut. Interestingly, a study found that patients suffering from depression and anxiety had high levels of inflammation in the gut and showed signs of gut permeability.

The Importance of a Whole Foods Diet

First and foremost, if you’re suffering from anxiety and depression and you’re still eating a SAD (Standard American Diet), then you must make changes. Processed foods, unprepared seeds and nuts, sugar, and overuse of antibiotics all contribute to gut dysbiosis, which in return can cause symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s highly recommended that you follow a whole foods diet, which is free from packaged foods and excessive amounts of sugar. This means all your food should come from the earth and be eaten in its natural form. Be sure to keep meals simple as this will give the digestive system a break and will expedite the healing process in the gut. It’s also important that if you consume nuts and seeds, they are prepared properly. When these foods are eaten in their raw state, they contain several anti-nutrients that can actually contribute to inflammation in the gut. Soaking, fermenting, roasting, and boiling are all viable options for reducing the anti-nutrient load found within many of these nuts and seeds. If you’re an avid bread eater, it’s highly beneficial that you switch over to a sourdough bread, preferably homemade.

Place a Higher Emphasis on Animal Foods

High-quality animal foods should not be feared as these foods contain ZERO gut-inflaming properties such as the ones found in plant foods. To keep it simple, just remember the following: Plants cleanse the body, and animal foods build the body. Each has their place in the diet, but consuming foods only from one “kingdom” is not recommended. However, those suffering from anxiety and depression should put a higher emphasis on animal foods since these foods have been shown to support dopamine levels in the body due to their amino acid profile. Research indicates that dopamine plays a role in those suffering from depression or anxiety. Furthermore, animal foods contain an abundance of L-glutamine. L-glutamine is crucial for those suffering from anxiety and depression because research has shown that it prevents intestinal permeability and protects against toxins, pathogens, and allergens, which can cause intestinal inflammation. Wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, and small amounts of grass-fed dairy are all excellent choices and can help repair a damaged microbiome.

Manuka Honey for Depression

Once diet has been addressed, incorporating superfoods such as raw New Zealand Manuka honey can be very beneficial for those with anxiety and depression. Manuka honey has been used for centuries for its many healing properties that positively influence changes in the body. In fact, this honey has been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral components which help eliminate disease-causing pathogens from the body. Interestingly, it’s been found that Manuka can rid the body of viruses and bacteria that have become antibiotic-resistant. However, its ability to clear the intestinal tract of any pathogenic overgrowth is what makes this honey so valuable for those suffering with anxiety and depression. Research shows that overgrowth in pathogenic yeasts such as candida albicans has been linked to those suffering mental health problems and can prevent recovery. Luckily, Manuka honey can help by effectively ridding the body of numerous pathogenic bacteria and yeasts such as candida. A study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine found that various types of honey had anti-fungal activity against several candida species.

Manuka Honey for Gut Health

As mentioned before, correcting the gut and improving the microbiome is crucial for those suffering from anxiety and depression. Intestinal Permeability is the number one cause of several autoimmune conditions and mental health issues. For those unaware, when the intestines are permeable, this simply means that food is able to pass through the gut lining and into the bloodstream. This causes all sorts of health issues, and symptoms will manifest themselves differently depending on the individual. If you’ve taken a large number of antibiotics throughout your life, then there is a high possibility that you may be suffering from a leaky gut. Furthermore, if you’re suffering from depression and anxiety and have been a frequent antibiotic user throughout your life, then chances are your problems are a result of poor gut health. Luckily, Manuka honey can help seal the gut lining, increase intestinal permeability, prevent gastric lesions, and stop the formation of gastric ulcers. It’s recommended that you start with just a teaspoon a day of raw Manuka honey and then work your way up to higher doses. This gives the body a chance to adjust and prevents unwanted symptoms such as stomach pain.


Those suffering from anxiety and depression could actually be a result of gut dysbiosis and a negatively altered gut microbiome. Following a correct diet such as the one outlined in the post is the first step anyone should take who may be suffering from mental health issues. Once the diet is in place, superfoods such as raw New Zealand Manuka honey can be added to the diet for further support. It’s important that you choose a high-quality raw Manuka honey that comes from New Zealand. Drastic changes will not occur overnight. Depending on the health and integrity of your gut, progress may be slow at first. However, if you keep up with it, you will be amazed at what diet and Manuka honey can do for both your mental and physical health.

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