Depression is a disease that many women suffer with and unfortunately, few find effective treatment. While there are a number of medications that are designed to treat depression, some women simply prefer to keep it a bit more natural. If you are searching for natural remedies for depression, there are many that exist and you can add many of these to your lifestyle by simply making a few changes in your diet.[toc]
If you are eating a healthy diet in general then you may be getting enough B Vitamins. If you are suffering from depression however, adding just a bit more of these vitamins can help to balance your mood. Folic Acid is the number one B Vitamin that you should strive to take if you are depressed. Eating green leafy vegetables every day should give you enough folic acid to really make you feel better. You can also take a supplement to ensure that you are getting plenty. About 800mcg is recommended for women of all ages. The supplements are cheap and you can often get about the right amount by taking a multi-vitamin. Be sure though that you add those dark green leafy vegetables at least a few times each week.
Serotonin is a mood elevating hormone that helps you to keep yourself balanced. Many prescription medications work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. You can however, increase serotonin levels naturally without having to take medication. By eating the right foods, your serotonin levels will begin to reach a healthier range and depression will subside naturally. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like certain types of fish contain high levels of serotonin enhancers. Coconut oil and turkey contain Omega 3 acids as well and because these are considered healthy fats, you can watch your weight while you are improving your mood.[adsenseleft]
3. Vitamin D
Ok, so getting sunlight can be difficult for busy women and especially so during the winter months. Sunlight incidentally is the best way for your body to absorb vitamin D. you can also add a supplement to make sure that you are getting the required dosage of this vital vitamin each day. Around 2,000 IUs of this vitamin is essential for those who are fighting depression. Women in menopause or those who have osteoporosis should also strive for this amount each day. Studies have shown that women who get enough vitamin D in their bodies every day have much better moods and even women who are pregnant and those in menopause experience fewer mood swings. This means that you should eat your carrots and be sure that you get out into the sunlight – just don’t forget the sunscreen.
4. St. John’s Wort
Nearly everyone has heard of St. John’s Wort. This herbal supplement has been used for centuries to treat many different medical conditions and depression just happens to be one of them. If you have the flowers growing near you then you simply have to harvest them. Most women however, simply head to the health food store and pick up the supplements. You can take supplemental pills or get a powder that can be added to tea. Studies performed on this herb show that many women experienced improvements in their depression after taking it and it has fewer side effects than prescription medications.
5. Black Cohosh
Women in menopause take black cohosh to help control night sweats, hot flashes and yes, mood swings. Black cohosh has proven to be very effective in helping with the symptoms of depression. Debates have been ongoing about its potential to cause liver damage but studies are inconclusive. It has fewer side effects than prescription depression medication and there are other benefits to taking it besides its help with depression. You can find the herb at most health food stores or in supplemental form in most grocery stores.
6. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is an amazing herb that can fix so many things. It helps to improve circulation which includes the flow of blood to the brain. This in turn helps the brain to produce adequate amounts of serotonin – remember serotonin? You can take ginkgo biloba in supplement form or add it to your favorite tea. However you take it, this is an absolute must for any woman who wants to feel better mentally and physically. Most women report significant improvements in their moods within just a couple of days of taking this herbal supplement.
Caffeine is not something that will help you to fight depression. In fact, too much caffeine can lead to depressive tendencies. If you want to feel better physically and mentally, you have to limit your intake of caffeine each day. Of course, drinking water is the absolute best scenario because it is the healthiest drink of all but if you must have something with a little flavor, experts recommend that you limit your intake of caffeinated beverages to no more than 16 ounces each day. A couple of cups of coffee or a can of your favorite diet soda should be it. After that, you should strive to keep your glass filled with ice water, herbal teas or juice.
Okay, so exercise is not really a supplement and it is certainly not anyone’s favorite pastime, but it can seriously reduce your risk of depression. Regular physical activity can have a profound impact on the brain’s ability to produce serotonin and in elevating your mood in general. Now, you do not have to hit the gym or run a marathon to get adequate exercise. Just walk for a few minutes each day. Park your car farther away from the entrance or take the stairs a couple of times a week instead of the elevator. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel after just a few days of regular exercise.