Monday, September 23, 2013

Cure Depression with Supplements

In the second part in a series on fighting depression, we are going to take a look at vitamin alternatives to prescription drugs that can help remedy depression.  Often times, being depressed for no apparent reason is actually your brain trying to tell you that it is deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients that you are not getting through your diet (rarely will your body tell you that it is deficient in Prozac, so don't be fooled).

B Vitamin Deficiencies
B Vitamins are naturally found in whole, unprocessed foods.  That being the case, you can see where many people now days are probably deficient.  Common names for your B-Vitamins are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin.  If you are suffering from mood problems, insomnia, or depression, Vitamin B deficiency could be to blame.  A lot of people find that taking a daily B Complex vitamin improved both their mood and general well being. Nature Made Super B Complex Tablets, Value Size, 360 Count

Vitamin C Deficiencies
Basically, Vitamin C is the god vitamin, and everyone should get to know this vitamin a little better.  If you haven't yet, read our article on the benefits of Vitamin C.  Here is something you need to know.  The 'recommended daily amounts' of Vitamin C are basically set at the bare minimum required to avoid contracting scurvy.  So even if you think you are getting '100% of your daily intake,' you probably still are Vitamin C deficient.  Like B Vitamin deficiencies, Vitamin C deficiencies also can cause symptoms of depression.  Another benefit of Vitamin C supplementation is that it will bolster your immune system. NOW Foods Vitamin C-1000 Sustained Release with Rose Hips, 250 Tablets

Mineral Deficiencies
Sadly, the modern diet leaves mineral deficiencies all too common these days, and many of these deficiencies lead to depression and other symptoms.  Luckily, most essential minerals are found in your standard multi-vitamin supplements.  Taking one multi per day in conjunction with addition B and C supplementation can go a long way to improving your mental health. Kirkland Signature Daily Multi Vitamins & Minerals Tablets, 500-Count Bottle

Bonus - Happiness in a Bottle
One final supplement that can go a long way in improving your mood is the amino acid called L-Tryptophan.  Tryptophan is an essential ammino acid largly found in meats and other animal products.  Supplementing tryptophan will not only improve your mood, but also help you sleep better at night.  It is by far one of the best remedies you can get (in pill form) for the blues. NOW Foods L-Tryptophan 500mg, 120 Vcaps

In conclusion, for severe cases of depression, you should probably seek professional help.  But all too often the medical establishment likes to simply hook you with prescription drugs, usually turning you into a life long drug addict.  Before it gets that far, you owe it to yourself to try more natural supplementation first, as they can often yield the same results without the harmful dependency side effects.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fight The Blues With Sunlight

According to the CDC, 1 in 10 Americans report that they are currently suffering from some form of depression.  Further, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that a staggering 18% of the U.S. population suffers from some form of anxiety disorder.  Meanwhile, Americans are spending tens of billions of dollars each year on prescription anti-depressant medication.  These drugs often times cause dependencies and carry other risky side effects.

There are many alternative, natural, and safe remedies for depression that you may not get from your doctor.  In this first article in a series on depression, we will take a look at the cheapest and easiest anti-depressant you can get - natural sunlight.

After decades of of hearing how bad the sun is for us, people are now suffering from the effects of a lack of sun exposure.  According to this article on HowStuffWorks,
A chronic lack of sun exposure has been linked to fertility problems, several forms of cancer, general poor health and varying degrees of depression. People actually get depressed, with symptoms like sadness, fatigue and hopelessness -- from a lack of sunlight.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is generally a depression that many people experience each year during the onset of fall and winter, when the days become shorter and their is less sunlight.  Many people working 'normal hours' will leave for their job before the sun comes up and get home after it sets.  This lack of sunlight contributes to depression.  However now days, even in the summer when people simply stay indoors all day, this depression can last year round.  Fortunately though, the remedy is simple.

Go outside!  Really, that's all you have to do.  And the amount of sunlight you need is probably less than you think.  Studies have shown that to get the proper amount of Vitamin D from the sunlight to promote wellbeing, you really only need about 10 minutes of sunlight per day during peak hours.  That's all.  If you work all day, just take a walk during your lunch break.  If you are at home, do some gardening.  In the winter, shovel some snow.  Yes it will work better in short sleeves and shorts, but something is better than nothing.

Note, that you should be getting this direct sunlight without the use of sunscreens.  Also keep in mind that many commercial sunscreens actually increase the risk of skin cancer.  If you absolutely think you need sun protection when you go outside, take a look at our article on Natural Sunscreen.