Do you often feel depressed and helpless? You are not alone. Millions of people all over the world struggle with depression. While therapy and medication can help you deal with the symptoms, there are also many things that you can do on your own to fight back. It is also important to bear in mind that anti-depressants are not always the solution for depression as it has been found that they work for only half of the people who give them a try. It may be a good idea for you to turn to natural remedies instead – you do not have to worry about side effects and they are often compatible with other medications that you may be taking.
Natural Remedies for Treating Depression are here
Here is a look at some of the best natural remedies that you should try to treat your depression:
When people think of exercise, they usually associate it with weight loss and getting a trim and fit body. But studies have found that exercise also helps the mind in many ways and helps manage stress, anxiety and depression. It triggers feel-good chemicals in the brain, such as adrenaline, endorphins, dopamine and serotonin and boosts the growth of new nerves, which in turn helps in building new communication pathways and increases the flexibility of your brain.(1)
- Join an aerobics class. Regular aerobic exercises can help in decreasing overall levels of tension, stabilizing and elevating mood, improving self-esteem and promoting good sleep.
- Engage in vigorous exercise on a regular basis. It can lower your chances of developing depression or an anxiety disorder.
To prevent depression, it is important to clear your mind. Every day activities can cause a lot of stress and anxiety so it is a good idea to dedicate a little time of your day to meditate and calm your mind. Research has found that mindfulness-based meditation can help in relieving psychological stress, including depression and anxiety. Meditation releases serotonin, which will help in quickly neutralizing enemy combatants linked to depression that occupy your mind.(2)
- Take some time from your day to meditate.
- Pick an area in your home that is quiet and distraction-free and makes you feel serene.
- Close your eyes and inhale and exhale deeply while clearing your mind of any negative thoughts.
- Do this daily to reduce stress and anxiety, and ultimately keep depression away.
Drink Green Tea
You have probably heard of all the wonderful benefits of green tea. Many people have given up coffee and other beverages and opting to drink only green tea. Although it also contains caffeine, it also contains L-theanine, which is a very important constituent. These two components work synergistically to boost mood without the crash-effect that comes with caffeine alone. Green tea has its psychoactive properties as it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which in turn has shown to help in reducing stress and boosting dopamine and GABA, the inhibitory transmitter in the brain.(3)
- Steep 1 green tea bag in 1 cup of boiling water.
- Drink this tea first thing in the morning with your breakfast.
- Every time you want to drink a beverage, prepare a cup of green tea and relax and slowly sip it.
Drink Chamomile Tea
Depression and sleep problems go hand in hand. It is like you cannot get out of bed during the day or fall asleep at night. It is believed that chamomile contains a particular flavonoid which is what gives it its relaxing properties. Drinking a cup of soothing chamomile tea before you go to bed can help you relax and unwind and give you good, restful sleep.
- Boil 1 cup of water and add a bag of chamomile tea or 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile.
- Allow it to steep for 5 minutes. Make it 15 minutes if you are using a tea bag.
- Strain and drink 30 minutes before you go to bed. You can add a little milk and honey if you want to improve the taste.
While it would be great if there was, there is no magic diet that can help with depression. However, it is a good idea to keep a close eye on the things you eat. For some people, overeating tends to occur when they feel depressed. If this is the case with you, you can feel better by getting in control of your eating. Eating healthy may help relieve your depression and it also gives your overall health a boost.
- Although not definitive, there is some evidence that foods that are replete with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, and folic acid, such as spinach and avocado, could help in easing depression.
- Make these foods a part of your regular diet.
- You can also consult your doctor about taking supplements.
Take More B-Vitamins
B-vitamins, B-12 in particular, but others as well, have a significant effect on the brain, helping in the production of chemicals, such as dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin, that impact mood in a major way. Lacking in this all-important nutrient may short your mind and body. B-vitamins are found mostly in meat, so vegetarians and older adults with digestive problems may find it difficult to get the appropriate amount of B-vitamins they need to combat depression.
- Add more foods rich in B-vitamins to your diet, like:
- Cheese – Swiss, 1 ounce serving: 16% daily value, or DV
- Fish – Mackerel, 3 ounce serving: 269% DV
- Spinach – 1 cup cooked: 22% DV
- Shellfish – Cooked clams, 3 ounce serving: 1401% DV
- Bell peppers – 1 cup raw: 13.50% DV
- Turkey – 4 ounce serving: 32% DV
Consider St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is a popular natural remedy for depression. It works most effectively in mild to moderate cases of depression. It is believed that this herb works primarily because of the effect of one of its main constituents, hypericin. Hypericin has been shown to have an effect on various neurotransmitters in a manner that is similar to serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as medications like Prozac. It is important to bear in mind that although St; John’s wort does not have as many side effects as prescription drugs, it can still interfere with them, making it important to double check before you use it.
- Take a high-quality St. John’s wort supplement – usually available in capsule form.
- For an adult, the normal dosage is 300 mg 3 times a day.
Note: You should consult a doctor before using St. John’s wort supplements as it can interact with other drugs.
Depression can get worse with time if left undiagnosed or untreated, and make a huge impact on your life. If you prefer not to use prescription drugs to treat the problem, you should try out natural remedies as they could do a lot of good. However, if you are considering supplements, you should consult your doctor first.