HOW TO CURE DEPRESSION NATURALLY
If you had to choose between natural and unnatural, which one would you pick? We are sure you would prefer to pick the natural way to cure depression. Depression is such a common thing that many of us deal with and really, it’s not always a disorder, sometimes it’s just a typical human experience. But we need to know how to handle that and a lot of people have asked, how do I take care of this in a more natural way?
Because they’re not extremely excited about getting on medication or even signing up for therapy. There’s a lot of things that you can do as you understand what depression is and then what you can do about it.
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of depression. There might be underlying biochemical or psy¬chological issues that predispose an individual; there might be a trigger, such as a stressful event, a bereavement, loss of a job, or the break-up of a relationship. Counselling can be very helpful, or even essential, in these circumstances.
Table of Contents
- HOW TO CURE DEPRESSION NATURALLY
Top 7 Tips to Cure For Depression Naturally
1. Increase your omega-3 fats
Surveys have shown that the more fish the population of a country eats, the lower is their incidence of depression. There are two key types of omega-3 fats, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and doco¬sahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the evidence suggests that it’s the EPA that seems to be the most potent natural antidepressant, and this is most concentrated in oily fish. EPA is thought to boost serotonin, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitter.
Many studies have shown that taking fish oil supplements high in EPA improves mood more than antidepressant drugs without side effects. You need to take in the region of 1,000mg of EPA for a significant mood boost, which means taking two high-potency EPA-rich fish oil supplements a day. These can be prescribed by your doctor.
2. Increase your intake of B vitamins
People with either low blood levels of the B vitamin folic acid or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine (a sign that they are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid) are more likely to be depressed and less likely to have a positive result from antidepressant drugs. Supplementing extra B vitamins also helps antidepressants to work better.
Women with a high level of homocysteine – a toxic amino acid found in the blood – will have double the odds of developing depression. For reasons unknown, the association is not so strong for men; however, it is still advisable for men to test their homo-cysteine level. The ideal level is below 7, and certainly below 1o. The average level is 10-11. Your homocysteine level indicates how good you are at `methylation’, a critical biochemical process in the brain and body.
Folic acid is one of seven nutrients – the others being B2, B6, B12, zinc, magnesium and tri-methyl-glycine (TMG) -that help normalise homocysteine and improve methylation. Deficiency in vitamins B3 and B6, folic acid, zinc and magnesium has been linked to depression, so it makes sense to eat whole foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, which are high in these nutrients, and also to supplement a multivitamin-mineral with good levels of these B vitamins.
S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) is an amino acid that greatly improves methylation. Known as the ‘master tuner’ it is a highly effective antidepressant. In some countries, you can buy it over the counter or on the internet. In the EU it is classified as a medicine. You therefore either need to obtain it on prescription or buy it for your own use, which is perfectly legal, from a country where it is available over the counter. You need 200 – 4oomg a day, ideally first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, to benefit.
3. Boost your serotonin
The feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin, is made in the body and brain from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted into another amino acid called 5-hydroxytrypto¬phan (5-HTP), which in turn is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in the diet; it’s in many protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish, beans and eggs. High levels of 5-HTP are found in the African Griffonia bean, but this bean is not a common feature of most people’s diet. The foods richest in 5-HTP are seafood, meat and eggs.
When you fail to have enough tryptophan you are likely to become depressed; indeed, people taking part in studies who have been fed food that is deficient in tryptophan have become depressed within hours.
Both tryptophan and 5-HTP have been shown to have an antidepressant effect in clinical trials, although 5-HTP is more effective -there have been 27 studies, involving 990 people, to date, most of which proved its efficiency. Start by taking 1oomg 5-HTP a day, in two doses of 5omg, then build up to a maximum of 3oomg a day.
Exercise, sunlight and reducing your stress level also tend to promote serotonin.
4. Balance your blood sugar and try chromium
There is a direct link between mood and blood sugar balance. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose, and your brain runs on glucose. The more uneven your blood sugar supply, the more uneven your mood. High sugar intake has been implicated in aggressive behaviour, anxiety, fatigue and depression.
Lots of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates (meaning white bread, pasta, rice and most processed foods) are also linked to depression because these foods not only supply very little in the way of nutrients but they also use up the mood-enhancing B vitamins: turning each teaspoonful of sugar into energy requires B vitamins.
The best way to keep your blood sugar level even is to eat a low-GL diet.
Chromium is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable, because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. People classified with ‘atypical’ depression (with symptoms of daytime sleepiness and grogginess, carbohydrate cravings, weight gain and an inclination to be very emotional) have been shown to benefit from supplementing high-dose chromium, many experiencing relief in a matter of days. This is well worth a try if these symptoms relate to you.
5. Get enough sun exposure, exercise and vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. About 90% of the body’s vitamin D is synthesised in the skin by the action of sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in depression, particularly if you feel worse during the winter.
You are most at risk of vitamin D deficiency if: you are elderly (because your ability to make it in the skin reduces with age); you are dark-skinned (because you require up to six times more sunshine than a light-skinned person to make the same amount of vitamin D); you are overweight (because your vitamin D stores may be tucked away within your fat tissue), or you tend to shy away from the sun by covering up and using sunblock. Of course, you should never risk your skin health by getting sun¬burned. Getting sufficient sun exposure, supplementing vitamin D and eating oily fish all help to boost your reserves.
Exercising outdoors gives you the double benefit of getting vitamin D and the mood-boosting effects of the exercise itself.
6. Consider allergies
Sometimes allergies can make you depressed. Eating a food you are unknowingly allergic to can bring on feeling low and tired. Someone who lives with chronic allergies may feel bad most of the days of the week. Experiencing more bad days than good could make you feel tired and depressed. Allergies could aggravate these symptoms in a person with clinical depression. So try to reduce the risk of getting depressed by avoiding food allergens and quickly recognizing and managing allergic reactions to food if they occur.
7. The food you should take/avoid
Try to eat oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, kippers and sardines. Also regularly eat chia seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds and green vegetables. You must avoid food with a lot of sugar, caffeinate drinks and alcohol.