≡ Menu
Enter your  for The Ultimate Slimming Smoothie Recipe and secrets for a slim energetic body.
The Ultimate Slimming Smoothie Recipe
and secrets for a slim energetic body!

I didn’t plan on writing about this..

Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Pesto

I had an entirely different subject I was writing on for this weeks’ post, until I heard the very sad news.  I am sure by now, you’ve heard that we lost a great talent and some say, a genius. Robin Williams.  I did not know Robin, but I know about the disease he suffered from: Depression.  

This disease is, unfortunately, quite common and widespread in our society.  It is still taboo in many circles to bring up and sadly, many just don’t talk about it and suffer in privacy.  I am writing this very heartfelt message in case I can reach at least one person suffering from this illness.

Here’s what I do know about this illness.  As one of my mentors, Dr. Mark Hyman states, “Depression is not a Prozac deficiency”.  I know this sounds quite simplistic, but hear me out.  As a clinical nutritionist I understand that most diseases in the body manifest from an imbalance in our bio-chemistry.  It takes years of an imbalance to build up into an illness.  Just like you don’t get diabetes overnight, you don’t get depression overnight.  Sure, there are instances in life that are traumatic and downright unbearable.  We use many tools to help us through these times in our lives; family and friends, faith, prayer and therapy to name a few.  Why is it that some folks recover while others don’t?  Could it be a difference in their biology?  Could it be that a neurotransmitter imbalance in some can lead them down the path to depression?

What if we can think outside the common-answer-to-depression box, not just mask the illness with an anti-depressant but get to the root cause of the issue?  What if the most effective treatment for depression is to rebalance the underlying systems in the body that are at the root of all health and illness?   Finally, Consider this:  There is not just one cause of depression, but many.  

Below, I will discuss the most common causes – or imbalances – that can lead to depression.  

Before we move on, please note:  Please do not use the information I am sharing here as anything other than just for educational purposes.  Please understand my sharing of this information with you does not automatically constitute a nutritionist - client relationship.  Please do not stop any medication you are on, without first consulting with your health care practitioner / MD / Physician.

Common causes of depression and what to do about it:

Common food allergens:  It seems so simple.  A food allergy that can actually lead to depression.  In some cases, it’s true.  A low level and chronic food allergy can eventually lead to the malabsorption of nutrients.  Let’s use celiac disease as an example.  If you have an allergy to wheat, rye and barley (gluten containing grains), your small intestine lining is getting hammered.  This will eventually prevent you from absorbing key nutrients from your food.  Years of nutrient deficiencies can then lead to an imbalance in your brain and body.  Without the proper nutrients, your body cannot make neurotransmitters in your brain (like serotonin) to keep you balanced and happy.  If you would like to explore this further, perhaps consider an IgG food intolerance test.  If you want to try this at home, try doing an elimination diet, removing the most common allergens and inflammatory foods, for at least 21 days.  If you start to feel better, then you know you have a food intolerance.
Hypothyroidism:  This unrecognized epidemic can be a cause of depression. Make sure to have a thorough thyroid exam if you are depressed.  Hypothyroid slows down metabolic functions and also slows down brain function.  If your thyroid exam comes back with a hypothyroid diagnosis, you know treating the thyroid is getting to the (or one of the) root cause of the depression.
Chronic Vitamin D deficiency:  It is estimated that over 75% of adults and teens are deficient in Vitamin D.  In addition, new science has shown the level used to identify Vitamin D deficiency is too low.  Many doctors still consider blood level of 30 nanograms per milliliter or more of vitamin D, to be sufficient.  Ideally, that level should be between 50 and 80 nanograms per milliliter.  Get tested.  It is a simple test you can ask for at your next physical.  If you are not in the optimal range, start to supplement at least 1000 IU per day.  Most can tolerate more.
Methylation and Sulfation pathways have broken down:  There are biochemical reactions in your body referred to as methylation and sulfation, critical for proper detoxification and proper biochemistry of the brain.  Problems with methylation and sulfation are involved in all mental illness and neurological dysfunction especially depression, ADD, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  The good news is that these processes can be almost completely fixed through diet, detoxification, and special nutrient supplementations.  You can start by simply taking these specific B Vitamins daily:  Methylated B12, Folate (MTHF) and B6 (Pyridoxyl 5‐phosphate).  There are many brands with these specific B Vitamins out there.  Be sure to get the methylated versions.  Here’s one I like.  You can start by taking one per day.  For the sulfation part, increase your daily intake of sulfur rich foods like broccoli, watercress, garlic, onions, and eggs. 
Heavy metal toxicity - If you suspect you have been exposed to heavy metals and they could be the root cause of the issue, find a doctor who specializes in it and be tested for heavy metal toxicity.  In the meantime, you can eat some of the foods already listed above, including more dark leafy greens, cilantro, dandelion, berries and green tea.  These foods have detox properties.These are some of the root causes.  There could be other root causes or a combination of some for each specific person.  These are suggestions and guidance where you can start.  Even healthy people will do well getting tested for deficiencies, supplementing vitamins and detoxing.Finally, the single biggest environment influence you can control is what you eat.
Food is not just calories, it is information. It tells our genes what to do. 
Thank you for sticking with me this week as I cover a difficult and complicated topic.  There is a lot more to be said about depression and treatment.  Please do not take my short post as a simplistic approach to this issue.  My hope is that this information can be used as a starting point and even guidance on different places to look for – other than antidepressants – for treating and hopefully eradicating depression.  If you are reading this now and happen to be suffering with depression, please ask for help.  You are never alone.  Reach out.  There are many people in this world that are more than happy to help you, including me.


Cilantro Pesto
Serves 8
A delicious and refreshingly different pesto recipe. It is rich in natural sulfur which helps your body's systems metabolize energy!
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 min
170 calories
2 g
19 g
13 g
11 g
5 g
47 g
478 g
1 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 114
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 19mg
Sodium 478mg
Total Carbohydrates 2g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/2 cup walnuts
  2. 4 cups cilantro (1 bunch destemmed)
  3. 2 garlic cloves
  4. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  6. salt to taste
  7. parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Add all the above to a food processor and process until the mixture reaches a paste consistency.
Tania Mercer http://taniamercer.com/
Did you like what you just read? Share the love!FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

  • Kathleen August 18, 2014, 1:00 am

    Tania I love your article and totally agree… find the root the cause instead of a medicine to mask the symptom. I have a good friend who had a major thyroid issue last year and her doctor told her she needed to remove her thyroid, but then she would need to be on medication for the rest of her life – so instead she tried a chiro/nutritionist and he put her on an elimination diet – turns out she was allergic to gluten and dairy. Now that those items are out of her diet, her thyroid levels are perfectly normal! And that only took a handful of months!

    I’ve heard this about Vitamin D also and take one every day – I’m interested in taking the vitamin B you recommend. Thank you!

  • Susie August 18, 2014, 3:26 am

    There are so many different root causes for depression but they all lead to compassion, meeting people where they are and letting them know there is hope and they are valued.
    Depression is so tough on so many, thank you for spotlighting this in the wake of sadness over Robin Williams death.

  • Maria August 18, 2014, 6:21 am

    hello Tania – great article – packed with so much information. As a Medical Intuitive, I see many clients who are suffering from depression – you are spot on – it does not come on all of a sudden – most illnesses take years to be created. If we could only tap into our innate wisdom more. Information and then remembering. Great advice on the common causes too. So sad about Robin Williams – his suicide has put the spotlight on depression and how pervasive it is in our western world.

  • april August 19, 2014, 6:26 am

    as a former mental health counselor who has seen many presenting with depression, i appreciate very much this insight that you’ve shared: “what if we can think outside the common-answer-to-depression box, not just mask the illness with an anti-depressant but get to the root cause of the issue?” thank you for bringing up this sometimes controversial standpoint – that perhaps medication should be given only when other potential causes have been ruled out (including deep emotional scars that talk therapy may uncover and help to heal).

  • Elizabeth MacLeod August 19, 2014, 7:49 am

    Yes, many causes for depression. Food being one… pain another… life experiences another… but man, I know food plays a big part…atleast for me. I fell off my proverbial wagon this past week, and I see my mood shift! I must get back to my healthy ways. Your posts are always great instigators to returning to the path with which I prefer to be on, but sometimes, fall off! My humble thank yous…. oxox

    And blessings to Robin Williams for touching so many, that we get to find our way through him and back to ourselves, much like he did for us in his life. Blessed be. xoxo

  • Michelle August 20, 2014, 1:01 am

    Oh my word. That cilantro pesto looks amazing!!!! Going to try it.

    A couple of summers ago I was feeling down, and it turned out to be a Vitamin D deficiency! And I live in Phoenix where the sun shines 350 days a year! We’re so used to staying out of the sun to protect our skin that we’ve now developed the deficiency. 25% of Phoenix is deficient!

    Really good info, Tania. RIP Robin.

  • Cathy Sykora August 20, 2014, 5:45 pm

    Great information. I really appreciate your attention to the importance of finding the root cause rather than slapping a “Band-Aid” on it and calling it good. I believe there are so many factors in our lives that can affect our physical chemistry and addressing those can help empower us to live in a manner that our minds and bodies can function more effectively.

  • Valerie August 21, 2014, 3:10 am

    Great information! It’s always good to take a look at all possibilities when trying to deal with something as pervasive as depression.

    I’m curious, are there any other signs to watch out for in the breakdown of the methylation and Sulfation pathways?


Leave a Comment