Saturday, May 26, 2012

Four Natural Remedies for Depression

Depression is a very common occurrence nowadays – to the extent that people are literally disabled with depression at higher rates and at younger ages. There are many problems with antidepressant medication – lots of side effects that are often as bad as the condition itself!  But wait!  With some investigation on your own (or with the help of your health care provider), you will find that there are safer, and effective natural remedies for depression out there.

Here are four:

Exercise

Several studies have proven that exercise can be just as effective for mild to moderate depression as therapy or antidepressant medication.  Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s happy hormones. The hardest part of this remedy might be in getting the depressed person to exercise, so coaching and accountability may be needed here.

Omega 3s

Omega 3 fatty acids are showing amazing promise in studies as a natural remedy for depression.  This is especially true among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.  These women are often unable or unwilling to take the risks of antidepressant medications. Omega 3 fatty acids inhibit inflammation, which can play a role in depression. You can obtain Omega 3s by eating foods such as salmon, grass-fed beef and flax seeds.  Or, by taking supplements, which is easy and inexpensive, too.


Sunlight

Sunlight is a freebie!  And easy to take advantage of.  It is absolutely essential for good health and good mood.  Too much may be concern for cancer, however, in moderation, the sun is our friend especially if we have a mood disorder. Or are sensitive to light deprivation.  This might be true of you if you feel sad or blue on overcast, rainy days or in the wintertime.  While some may be able to simply spend time out of doors in nature, others might need to invest in a light box to use during the winter.  It will expose you to light that mimics the sun’s rays.  In some cases insurance companies will reimburse for these products as long as you have a diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Nutrition

Can you believe it?  Food plays a powerful role in how we feel.   (Take chocolate, for example – just kidding!)  Eating spicy foods for example, releases a flood of endorphins in our bodies.  Eating white stuff, like flour products and sugar, on the other hand, causes our blood sugar to get out-of-balance, which can lead to chronic mood disturbances. Does this sound like you and your low mood?  Try eating a high protein diet with frequent small meals – for instance, every 3 hours, focusing on whole foods, avoid caffeine and other stimulants.  
There are certainly other herbal remedies that have been effective for those who are depressed, and it’s certainly worth a good look at these options before considering expensive, potentially dangerous medications. Talk with a Naturopath or your health care provider about your feelings and see if you can find a plan that will help you feel happier again - naturally.


I am not an expert on any subject.  I pass along information that I have found useful and that I feel may be helpful to others.  The reader is encouraged to do their own research in order to make more informed decisions.

The statements contained in this blog have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Always seek the advice of your Health Care Provider before making diet or life-style changes.

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Huge Green Hugs,
Pat


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