I used to be embarrassed to tell people I suffer from depression, but have recently found it helpful to talk about it. And shockingly, the more people I told, the more people I found were also battling depression. What really fired me up was the fact that no one I spoke to had found any long-term relief from taking prescription medications. This fueled my investigation into finding natural remedies to deal with depression.
Unfortunately there is no scientific evidence that proves any dietary supplements cure depression but guess what? There is no scientific evidence that prescription anti-depressants work either. Do a search on the Internet and you will see that anti-depressants get mixed reviews. Some research provides evidence that they work while others prove they don’t and can actually make symptoms worse! I have tried almost every medication out there, but none of them worked for me, some of them made my depression so severe that I couldn’t get out of bed. And so my search began for natural remedies to help me deal with the symptoms of depression.
Although there is no definitive cure, scientists are working to figure out if improving your diet and taking dietary supplements can help to ease symptoms of depression. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there, but after cross referencing my research with my OB/GYN, Dr. Connolly, I came up with a list of the supplements studied most often with positive outcomes. Most supplements have little to no side effects and can improve overall health even if they don’t cure your depression, so what’s the harm in taking them?
The following is a list of supplements, foods, and other natural remedies that I compiled by searching through hundreds of articles and consulting with Dr. Louise Connolly, a Redondo Beach OG/GYN that believes in combining eastern and western medicine to help her patients. None of these are proven cures for depression, but scientific research has found that people suffering from depression are lacking certain vitamins and minerals. This is why doctors are starting to recommend the use of supplements and nutrition to battle depression. Imagine if depression could be cured by simply changing your eating habits.
- Omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in foods like salmon, tuna, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Depressed people often lack a fatty acid known as EPA found in omega 3’s. You can also take omega 3’s as a supplement.
- The B Vitamins (including folic acid), which are found in cabbage, brown rice, brewer’s yeast, and whole grain oats. You can take vitamin B’s in supplement form.
- Vitamin C, which can be taken as a supplement but is also found in foods like oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, tomatoes, papayas and mangos.
- Vitamin D, which you can get from fatty fish, eggs, and meat. You can also take vitamin D as a dietary supplement in addition to moderate sun exposure.
- Tryptophan which is found in many protein rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs,
- 5-HTP, the richest source is found in the African Griffonia bean, but is hard to find so should be taken as a supplement.
- SAM-E, which is a supplement, you can find most anywhere now.
- Other natural remedies include daily exercise, acupuncture, reducing your stress level and balancing your blood sugars.
- Avoid caffeine, drugs including alcohol, smoking, and foods high in sugar or fat.
I am currently taking all of the supplements listed above, as well as adding healthy doses of the foods in which they can be found into my diet. I will keep you posted on my progress.
Here are some interesting articles I came across during my research.