Almost everyone feels depressed at one point or another. Whether it is the lost of a loved one, going through a divorce, or any difficult situation, most people know the feeling. While this is a completely normal reaction, there are number of people who experience these feelings everyday.
Depression “is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general,” according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). When these feelings persist, they can affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
In fact, the statistics for depression in America are terribly high. According to a 2014 study, 15.7 million Americans had experienced a “major depressive episode” in the past year!
While many doctors will prescribe anti-depressants, many of these drugs have unwanted side effects that should be taken into consideration. Luckily, alternatives are available. No, this is not some home remedy to cure depression, but rather dietary suggestions that have been shown to improve the symptoms.
Researchers have found that many people who suffer from persistent depression have several nutritional deficiencies that could contribute to their feelings.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Deficiency
Foods like fish and flax seed oil are extremely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are important for your brain functions and can effect your overall mental outlook on life. A lack of these acids has been found in many patients suffering from depression.
While this isn’t exactly a deficiency, a diet filled with junk food and soda is not a good mix for a stable mind and body. Fast food and convenient stores have capitalized on the quick moving American culture that we have all developed, which makes it easy to pick up a burger on your way home from work. But without a proper source of fruits and vegetables being part of your daily diet, you could experience symptoms of depression.
Vitamin D Deficiency
A study done by the Journal Clinical Nutrition found that people suffering from a vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of depression later in life. The best and main source of vitamin D is the sun! Many people who spend long hours indoors, such as at an office or in school, can develop this kind of deficiency, so getting some fresh air is important.
B-vitamins have been linked to mood swings and disorders such as depression. Taking gel tablets of these daily can easily solve this problem.
Iodine effects your thyroid gland functions. The thyroid is involved in functions like regulating body temperature, brain functions, and the immune system. Iodized salt is the best way to get iodine, but salty fast foods and chips do not contain iodized salt. Without this, your risk of depression increases greatly.
Take care of your body properly and help fight the condition that affects almost 7% of the country!