We all know that depression can be treated with talk therapy and antidepressants, but are you aware of the effect that vitamin and mineral deficiencies can have on the brain? By simply adding certain foods and supplements containing these important elements to your diet, you can greatly improve your mood, and possibly your overall health.
Below is a list of some of the things you can add to your diet that could help treat your depression, but do not make any changes, including the ones to follow, without first checking with your doctor. Your pharmacist or doctor can also give the proper dosages for your specific medical conditions.
According to The Life Extension Foundation, in studies where vitamin C is removed from the diet, depression is the first symptom noticed. Vitamin C may be obtained in the diet with broccoli, oranges, red bell peppers and many other foods.
All the B vitamins are important with regard to brain function and feelings of happiness and well-being. The Bs can be found in spinach, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, brown rice, lima beans, beef or chicken liver, oysters, sardines, peanuts, and green leafy vegetables, among other foods. Because it might be difficult to incorporate all these foods into your diet, you might find it easier to take a “B Complex” formula.
Depression is one of many signs of potassium deficiency, so be sure to eat your bananas, avocados and apricots.
SAMe is a natural chemical in the body, which is “the safest and most effective antidepressant in the world” (The Life Extension Foundation 224). The only known side effects are positive-—helping liver and brain function, and possibly keeping the process of aging at bay a bit longer.
DMAE is a naturally occurring nutrient in sardines and other foods (The Life Extension Foundation 228). It is believed to boost energy and put you in a better mood.
*Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
Fish oil has been shown to significantly improve symptoms of bipolar disorder in patients who were given up to 60 grams of fish oil daily (The Life Extension Foundation 234). Among other benefits are reducing the risk of breast cancer, and even reducing cellulite!
These are just a few of the supplements which might help with the symptoms of depression. As mentioned above, please be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before changing your diet or adding supplements. This is especially important for those who are taking medications of any kind, as these and other supplements may cause drug interactions, which could be serious or even fatal.
I believe that God put natural substances here to treat, or even cure, every ailment we might have. However, our society has adopted the belief that if it’s not a prescription, it’s not effective. This is just not true.
Our dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which is why there is a notice on them stating, “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Why AREN’T they evaluated/regulated by the FDA? Could it be that the drug companies have too much power, and they don’t want us to know that a $6 bottle of fish oil might work as well as a $100 bottle of chemicals? I’m not saying that prescriptions are bad-—just that if we took natural substances to treat our illnesses, we might not need so many prescriptions.
Don’t buy into the idea that it has to be a prescription to help you. However, because the FDA doesn’t regulate our supplements, I suggest that you buy them from a reputable health food store. The “mom and pop” variety usually have people who are very knowledgeable and care about what they sell. It might cost you a bit more than the big chains, but it’s worth it!
The Life Extension Foundation (2000). Depression. "Disease Prevention and Treatment" (pp. 221-236). United States. Expanded Third Edition.