Few things adversely affect the quality of life like a struggle with depression. This I know all too well. I’ve been prescribed Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and Effexor. They helped a little, but left me more apathetic than anything.
I wasn’t a fan of the side effects, either. I experienced odd tingling sensations and unquenchable thirst. I believed that going the pharmaceutical route to relieve my anxiety and depression symptoms was merely trading one evil for another.
As I dove head-first into the world of nutrition and supplementation, the truth emerged before my eyes like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Depression, along with anxiety, is primarily caused by our brain’s inability to manufacture certain hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin.
Depression is also perpetuated by an inability of the brain to transform glucose (blood sugar) into fuel.
Your brain wants to do these things for you, but (if you’re suffering from depression) it can’t.
One simple answer: Vitamin Deficiency
The biggest deficiency is that of the B-Complex vitamins. Deficiencies of vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 are the biggest offenders. Vitamins C and D will also contribute to depression, if not in ample supply.
A mineral deficiency also contributes in a big way. The biggest of these are:
So is it really that simple? All we have to do is provide our bodies with an abundance of these vitamins & minerals and our depression will suddenly vanish? We just eat the right foods, take the right supplements, and we’re cured, just like that?
To some degree, yes.
There are obviously psychological factors you will need to address. By no means am I qualified to give any psychological or psychiatric advice. I would encourage you to seek out some type of therapy or counseling from a mental health professional.
However, if you make a few dietary shifts and implement a consistent, effective supplementation regimen, you will, at the very least, notice some tremendous improvements in your overall outlook on life. You will feel more alive and vibrant than perhaps you ever have.
For starters, if you smoke or drink, try your very best to quit. At the very least, minimize your intake, if you feel you are able to do so. Nicotine, alcohol, refined sugar, and caffeine destroy B vitamins faster than anything. So the higher the degree to which you avoid ingesting these things, the better your results will be.
Next, supplement. Take an all natural, whole-food multivitamin. Make sure it’s plentiful in vitamins B, C, and D, as well as chelated versions of the minerals listed above. If it contains probiotics and nutritional enzymes, even better. This should fulfill your vitamin requirements for depression, but if you’d like additional B vitamin support, feel free to seek that out, as well.
I also very strongly encourage you to pick up a powerful, natural antioxidant formula. If one of its ingredients is the acai berry, it is a definite winner! This will do away with any free radicals that may be hanging around trying to compromise the effectiveness of your vitamin intake.
In addition, St. John’s Wort is an herbal supplement that is widely known to help with mood issues. I recommend taking it daily as an extra measure.
Make sure your supplements are, in fact, of the natural, whole-food variety. Synthetics suck! Avoid them. Get your vitamins at either your local health food store or online, from a company that deals exclusively with natural products.
Also, be sure to hydrate (4 to 6 liters of purified water daily), move your body in fun ways (dance, jump, skip, etc.), and SMILE! Think about all the great things in your life. If nothing seems great, imagine things being exactly the way you want them to be. How would that feel?
Again, I’m a nutrition consultant, not a mental health professional, so I won’t delve to deep into the mental aspects of depression. I can testify, however, with great confidence and enthusiasm, that the two worlds (mental and physical) do go hand in hand, and they have a significant effect on one another.
Bottom line, be good to yourself. Eat right, think sweet, play nice, love whole-heartedly, and for the sake of your health and sanity, take your vitamins! I assure you, if they’re the right kind, they will change your life!
My very best wishes for you. Thanks for reading.