While it’s always a good idea to seek help from a qualified professional regarding depression, it’s interesting to know that according to recent research, there is evidence of a connection between depression and low blood sugar and insulin imbalances. These same studies point out that individuals who consumed a diet low in processed foods and refined sugar had a lower incidence of depression overall. They also determined that deficiencies in B vitamins such as folate, B6, B12, and choline can also contribute to depression.
Food and supplement suggestions: Seek out foods high in B vitamins such as: lean meats, tuna, eggs, lentils, bananas, potatoes, tempeh (fermented soy), molasses and brewer’s yeast. It’s important to include adequate protein in the diet since the amino acids in protein are needed to help the nervous system function properly. It can also be helpful to spread out protein intake over the course of the day and to include 5-10 grams (if possible) whenever you eat a meal or snack. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids would also be very helpful with fighting depression. Besides supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids (my favorite is from Nordic Naturals ‘Ultimate Omega’) also try adding in salmon, sardines, walnuts and fresh ground flax seeds into your diet. SAM-e and St. John’s Wort, available in the supplement section at health food stores, have also been shown to be effective in treating depression.
In addition to seeking help from a qualified professional, eating a diet rich in whole foods and making food choices rich in B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, you may want to consider the following lifestyle suggestions:
● Try getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day
● Slow down and remember to breathe – meditation and yoga can also help the body and mind to relax
● Do avoid caffeine and alcohol which can alter your blood sugar and moods
● Acupuncture is known to be effective for mild and moderate depression
● Don’t forget adding in 20 minutes a day of sunlight to help your body effectively manufacture Vitamin D
**Remember to seek help from friends, family and professionals if depression lasts longer than a couple of days**