What is Depression?
When you feel hopeless and sad, and you just can’t snap out of it, you may be suffering from depression.
Depression is a serious mental health issue that affects millions of Americans every day. About 15% of adults in this country will experience depression at some point in their lives.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure
- Suicidal thoughts
Natural ways to reduce feelings of depression include getting regular exercise, red light therapy, meditating, journaling, and eating a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet. You can reduce inflammation in your diet by cutting the amount of sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol you take in.
In addition to changing your lifestyle habits, there are natural anti-depressants that include certain vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement used to help with symptoms of depression. It works by increasing blood flow to your brain which helps improve concentration and boost your energy.
SAMe is a dietary supplement that’s actually a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs in your body, naturally. SAMEe can be injected or taken as an oral supplement. According to several studies, this supplement may be as effective or even more effective than some prescription medications used for treating depression.
A zinc deficiency may cause depression. Taking zinc supplements daily can help lessen your depression symptoms while increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your body at the same time.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When you take Omega-3 fatty acid supplements or eat foods high in them, you can help boost your brain’s serotonin levels naturally. They work like prescription antidepressants by deterring the reuptake of serotonin by the brain’s receptors. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (or fish oil) include anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and wild salmon.
St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is an herb that can help ease symptoms of mild or moderate depression like sadness, anxiousness, and difficulty sleeping. The yellow-flowered plant is can be ingested as a tea, a pill, or in extract form. Some studies show that this herb may be as effective at treating depression as medications but without the negative side effects.
However, St. John’s wort may lower the effectiveness of certain prescription drugs including blood thinners, HIV medications, and some anticancer medicines.
Saffron, long used as a seasoning for food, is also a natural treatment for depression symptoms. This plant may help increase serotonin levels and other brain chemicals too. In one recent study, participants found that saffron had similar benefits to medication but had fewer side effects.
Of course, make sure to have a healthcare professional work with you to create a customized plan for your needs.
To your health,
The content on heartroothealth.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.