Tens of millions of people live with depression everyday of their lives. Although there are medications to help address its symptoms, a long term treatment is something of an enigma.

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Depression can have different types of symptoms in different people. Some of the common ones include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sad mood
  • Feeling of helplessness
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities

Depression can be caused by any number of reasons. Whatever the cause there are many good reasons to address the problem by eating the right food. Your medicines may give you some respite, you can’t expect them to be a long term solution.

1. Take Plenty of Omega-3 Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats which are found only in a few types of foods. Salmon, sardines and trout are good examples of fish which are rich in this healthy fat.

You can also get them from fish oil sourced from these fish. But make sure that you are getting pure fish oil without any unwanted additives.

Research shows that there are two types of brain chemicals in these fish oil. The deficiency of these compounds in the brain has been associated with depression. These compounds are EPA and DHA. Both are different types of omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended to get higher amount of DHA than EPA.

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2. Drink Green Tea Regularly

The L-theanine in green tea is the active ingredient that helps you fight depression. Although green tea also has caffeine, which actually causes aggravation of the condition, when it combines with L-theanine, the result is entirely opposite. The combination helps in boosting your mood while eliminating the crash that comes with caffeine alone.

L-theanine has powerful psychoactive benefits that enable crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Studies show that it helps in reducing stress. It also enhances dopamine and GABA levels. GABA is a brain inhibitory transmitter.

All these benefits help naturally improve your depression.

3. Drink Chamomile Tea

Sleep disorders and depression have always been linked in one way or the other. When you have depression, it often occurs that you can’t go to sleep at night and cat get out of bed in the day.

Chamomile has a specific flavonoid that is considered to help in providing a relaxing feeling. Drink 1 cup before going to bed with honey and milk. It will give you just the kind of feeling you need to get sleepy.

You can also keep a lavender sleep sachet under the pillow or near your bed. It will make you even more relaxing.

4. Saffron

There are very few parts of the world where saffron can grow. This spice has powerful properties that can help treat mild or moderate depression.

It is sourced from the dried part of a flower called crocus. A study published in the Alternative Medicine Review found that its stigma is effective in treating depression. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21438645

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5. Serotonin-Boosting Diet

Start taking a diet that is rich in foods that help in boosting your serotonin levels.

The most widely used anti-depressants work through inhibition of reuptake of serotonin by brain receptors. This causes increase in serotonin levels.

The right foods can also do the job for you. You can increase the serotonin levels in a natural way.

Best examples of such foods are as following:

  • Protein-rich foods. Look for proteins that have high amounts of tryptophan. One of the best examples is turkey.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Yes, omega-3 fatty acid containing foods which have already been mentioned, can also help in increasing serotonin levels. These include salmon, sardine, mackerel, trout and herring.
  • Coconut Oil. This oil is packed with healthy fats that help increase your brain serotonin levels.

6. Magnesium-rich Seeds

Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium. Magnesium-deficiency is widely common and most people don’t even know about it. Eating foods rich in this mineral can help in reducing the symptoms and even treat your depression. These seeds are also effective in boosting your mood.

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You can add various types of seeds and nuts to your diet. This also includes cashews and almonds.

In fact, legumes and beans like soybeans, black beans and navy beans are also rich in magnesium. Spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens and kale are also great.

You can also get good amount of magnesium from whole grains.