It is important for me to be clear: Depression is a serious health issue. It can range from mild to severe. There are many different causes of depression. Not all cases can be treated in the same way.
BUT. It is also important to know: Depression can be treated naturally and it can be done without taking prescription drugs. There is hope!
Depression: What are some of the most common causes?
- Dysbiosis – our gut health and mental health are intricately connected. Leaky gut, inflammation, candida over-growth, low levels of intestinal flora etc all negatively effect brain chemistry and function.
- Food Allergies – any food one has a sensitivity to will cause inflammation. This inflammation is present all over the body, including the brain, and has shown to affect ones mental health.
- Heavy Metals – have also been shown to alter brain chemistry. Copper, lead, and mercury are several heavy metals, amongst many, known to cause depression.
- Environmental Toxins – Pesticides as well as chemicals found in common household cleaners, building materials, metal exposure, and tobacco can increase your environmental toxin load, making one more prone to depression.
- Hormones – the fluctuation and imbalance of hormones has been been linked to depression. This includes reproductive hormones (particularly in women) as well as those involved with adrenal function and blood sugar balance.
- Nutrient Deficiencies – (caused by stress, toxicity, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle etc) affect the transformation of key amino acids into necessary neurotransmitters i.e. a vitamin B6 deficiency prevents the transformation of tyrosine into L-Dopa or L-Dopa into dopamine. And low levels of dopamine is a well known cause of depression.
How to beat depression for good
The first step is to get checked by your trusted natural healthcare practitioner to determine the root cause of your depression. Next, address the issue using natural solutions. Every case will be different, however, here are 7 simple steps to help get your happy self back:
The quality of food we put in our body has a direct effect on our mental health. Fat-soluble nutrients, for example, are essential for optimal brain function. It is important to eliminate damaging vegetable oils and trans-fats (found in all refined and processed foods) and replace these with essential omega-3 fish oils, saturated fats such as coconut oil, farm butter and animal fats, raw nuts and seeds, olives, avocados and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and macadamia nut oil. Next, eliminate all food sensitivities (gluten, dairy, sugar etc) then focus on eating a healthy nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, real food diet, with adequate amounts of anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Changing your diet can be extremely helpful at optimizing brain health and keeping inflammation at bay.
To restore digestive health it would be wise to supplement with digestive enzymes and high quality probiotics. Unbalanced gut microbes can contribute to depression. If you have low stomach acid levels a good HCL supplement should also be considered. Adequate stomach acid is very important for healthy digestion and the breakdown of protein into neurotransmitter-building amino acids.
3. Methyl-folate and B12
Support methylation i.e. neurotransmitter production. A vast majority of the population struggle with impaired methylation therefore it is essential to supplement with these 2 nutrients.
Magnesium has a very relaxing or calming effect on our nervous system. It is needed for over 300 enzymatic reactions in our body. Magnesium is one of those minerals that tends to be deficient in our food supply therefore supplementation is advisable.
5. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D deficiency has been strongly linked with depression. Have your physician check your vitamin D level and supplement at least 2000IU of D3 or expose your body to 15-20 minutes of sunlight daily.
6. Felix (available at health stores)
Felix is a natural anti-depressant that utilises a clinically studied, proprietary extract of saffron called Satiereal. Clinical studies have highlighted saffron’s ability to enhance mood and its powerful anti-depressant qualities. Even better is the fact that it can be used on its own or as an adjunct to allopathic anti-depressants and is safe with no known contra-indications or reported side effects.
Exercise has powerful antidepressant and mood altering effects by stimulating the production of endorphins. However, be careful of excess aerobic exercise as it can stimulate increased cortisol levels. Rather perform higher intensity, short duration exercise which, according to studies, decreases depression, fatigue and anger after exercise.
You are not designed to feel sad and be on permanent anti-depressant medication. Get your life back by seeking help and taking the necessary steps to support a happy mood. There is always hope. I know you can do it!