Supplements can be very important in dealing with the symptoms of depression. In the two previous blogs, we looked at what food is beneficial to include in your diet if you are struggling with depression. Here are the links to Feed Your Depression - part 1, and Feed Your Depression - part 2. Now let's look at some supplements.
This vitamin, called the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, is often thought of in relation to bone health. But it is also showing promise in studies related to depression. Vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, many of us live in a climate where we are covered up for months of the year. Then when it warms up, we cover our skin with sunscreen. Our skin is seldom exposed to sunlight. For this reason, many of us are deficient in vitamin D. Although this vitamin is best obtained by being outdoors, it is also found in milk and non-dairy milk beverages that are fortified with vitamin D.
Talk to your doctor to see if you should also take a vitamin D supplement.
The vitamins in the B group support and maintain the health of your nervous system, in particular vitamins B-12, and B-9 (otherwise known as folate in foods/folic acid in vitamin form). Research continues to find a correlation between the deficiency in B vitamins and depression. Vitamins B-12 and B-9 show promise in helping to manage depression.
Food sources of B-12 include animal products such as dairy, fish, poultry, eggs, and beef. Vegetarian sources of this vitamin can be found in non-dairy milks and breakfast cereals fortified with B-12.
B-9 (folate) can be found in foods such as a variety of beans and lentils, as well as in vegetables including asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and dark leafy greens.
Talk to your doctor to see if you should be taking a B-complex vitamin supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids
This type of fat supports brain function and has a positive effect on mood. Scientists agree that consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can elevate mood, prevent depression, and reduce the symptoms of depression. Some omega-3 foods include fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Because omega-3's can be enjoyed in their oil form - fish oil and flax seed oil, I have included them here as a supplement. Enjoy salmon for dinner, sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on your oatmeal in the morning, or take a fish oil capsule.
I know that by eating the right foods and paying attention to including specific supplements into your diet, you can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and enjoy a healthier body and a happier mind.