Over twenty million people in the US alone are affected with depression. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to treat this condition quite effectively. However, it is important for you to keep in mind that depression can be a very serious condition and may get worse if you are not getting proper treatment. Therefore, advice from a doctor is very crucial.
9 Best Natural Ways To Cure Depression
Not getting enough sunlight is considered as one of the major factors that can worsen the condition of depression. Therefore, you are strongly recommended to increase your exposure to natural daylight. The best way to do this is to go for a half-an-hour morning walk daily. When your body is exposed to natural daylight early in the morning, it stimulates the production of serotonin, which is a brain chemical that helps in keeping your mood relaxed and cheerful. If you are not getting enough sunlight, the serotonin level drops.
Regular exercise is the key factor that keeps your mood happy and active. Therefore, you are advised to practice some aerobic exercises also on a daily basis. These exercises, when practiced regularly, are very effective in reducing stress hormones and increasing mood-elevating brain chemicals. Your half-an-hour morning walk is crucial in this respect also.
In addition to that, you can also consider playing tennis, joining dance classes and other such things. It should be something that you love to do because only then you will be able to stick with it.
When it comes to treating depression naturally, you must also be very careful about what you eat. Your body requires sufficient amount of magnesium and vitamin B6 to ensure enough production of serotonin – the mood enhancing brain chemical. Therefore, you are advised to increase your intake of foods that are rich in magnesium and vitamin b6. Some excellent sources for magnesium include green vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include cabbage, mustard green, cauliflower, tuna, garlic, beef liver and fish.
Avoid Alcohol And Caffeine
It is true that caffeine boosts energy and alcohol relaxes the body, but only temporarily. In reality, both of them can actually dampen your mood later on and may cause an array of adverse results like insomnia, depression, anxiety and mood swings. So, avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
Cut Down Your Intake Of Sweets
The effects of sweets are also similar to caffeine and alcohol in a way that they also make you feel good temporarily, but later on, they can worsen your mood. If you are already under depression, the condition may go worse. So, cut down your intake of sweets also.
Deficiency of folic acid is very common among those who suffer from depression. Therefore, you are advised to eat foods that are rich in folic acid. Folic acid is found in fortified grains, beans, fruits and green vegetables. Alternatively, you can also get it in the form of supplements.
It has also been found that antidepressants do not work as effectively in patients with low folic acid as they should. That is the reason why doctors also prescribe folic acid supplements along with antidepressants.
St. John’s Wort
St.John’s Wort is a herb that is also known as hypericum perforatum. This herb has been used since ancient times to treat the condition of depression, anxiety, poor sleep, nervousness and sadness. Lots of clinical trials have been conducted on this herb and it is a medically proven fact now that St. John’s Wort is as effective as a good antidepressant, especially in cases of mild to moderate depression. However, this herb may not prove to be very effective in cases of severe depression.
The herb is widely available in drug stores and health food stores in various forms, such as tea, liquid extracts, tablets and capsules. You may not be able to notice its effects within just a few days. It takes somewhere around four to six weeks to notice its full effects.
There is a word of caution regarding st. john’s wort. The herb may cause some side effects, such as fatigue, indigestion, dry mouth and dizziness. But, these side effects are likely to occur only if you are taking this herb along with other medications, such as antidepressants. The herb has been found to cause no side effects when it is taken alone. In addition to that, patients of kidney or liver disease or those affected with bipolar disorder should not take this herb. This herb is not recommended for children and pregnant women also.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Our body requires sufficient quantity of omega-3 fatty acids to ensure normal brain functioning. Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids often results in depression. The richest food sources for it include sardines, salmon and other cold water fishes. Various studies have found that the rate of depression is ten times lower in countries like Taiwan and Japan as compared to those countries where fish consumption is very low. It has also been found that antidepressants can work more effectively when taken with omega-3 supplements.
Mood Enhancing Supplements
There are certain mood-enhancing supplements that you can get over the counter, but you are strongly recommended to consult with your doctor first, especially if you are already taking other medications. In general, L-Theanine, SAMe, 5-HTP and fish oil supplements are considered very effective in elevating mood and treating depression. L-Theanine is found in green tea, but is also available in the form of supplements. SAMe, on the other hand, is a chemical that your body produces naturally, but if you are depressed, its production gets adversely affected.
Taking SAMe in the form of supplements has been found to be very helpful in increasing the levels of mood-enhancing brain chemicals like serotonin. Though SAMe is a little more expensive as compared to other anti-depression supplements, it is still very popular when it comes to treating the condition. 5-HTP is also produced naturally in human body and plays a crucial role in the production of serotonin as well. When you are depressed, the production of 5-HTP gets affected and it in turn affects the production of serotonin also. Therefore, taking it in the form of supplements can get you encouraging results.
Overall, there are lots of natural ways to treat depression, but to be on a safer side, you must consult your doctor first before trying a specific remedy.
Caution: Please use Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.