Saturday, November 27

Major depressive disorder: these are the best 5 natural antidepressants

Integrating as part of the treatment the consumption of foods rich in omega-3 acids, B vitamins, herbal teas, spices and chocolate, is a great ally to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Photo by Lisa Hobbs on Unsplash / Unsplash

During the last year, derived from the Covid-19 pandemic, cases of depression and anxiety have increased considerably around the world. Confinement, worries, fear, uncertainty, and job stress wreaked havoc. However, the reality is that depression is a mental health condition that we have been dealing with for many years and it tends to have different levels of intensity. One of its most worrisome variants is major depressive disorder, which is characterized by a persistent depressed state or loss of interest in activities, which can cause significant difficulties in daily life. Although medical supervision and therapy are simply essential elements in treatment, making lifestyle adjustments and betting on the consumption of natural remedies with calming, anxiolytic and antidepressant properties, are wonderful allies in a complementary way.

Possible causes include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. Specifically, there are more and more investigations suggesting that these factors may cause changes in brain function, such as abnormal activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. The truth is that depression is a very serious health problem and must be treated with great caution, the feelings of permanent sadness or loss of interest that characterize severe depression they can cause a variety of emotional and physical disorders. Eventually major depressive disorder includes disorders in sleep habits, appetite, energy levels, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with suicidal thoughts. The good news is that there are foods that play a fundamental role and are a good ally to reduce episodes, based on this we set out to select 5 of the best natural antidepressants backed by science.

1. Lavender

Lavender is one of the most popular medicinal herbs to combat all kinds of nervous disorders. It is an ancient plant that hides wonderful medicinal properties, it is characterized by its sedative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antibacterial qualities. However, in the last decade lavender oil has attracted special attention to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Its organic compounds give it great benefits to reduce stress and headaches, also its relaxing properties make it the perfect ally to combat insomnia. In fact, for more than 2,500 years, the benefits of extracting lavender oil were discovered as a therapeutic practice with great benefits for the nervous system. In conjunction with other treatments, linalool — a chemical compound found in lavender— It has been used in traditional medicine for its anxiolytic effects, which reduce restlessness and stress.

Lavender. /Photo: Pixabay

2. Foods rich in omega-3

In countries where fish consumption is high, such as Japan, Taiwan and Finland, lDepression rates tend to be low. On the contrary, in areas where fish consumption is low, such as North America and Europe, depression rates are much higher, in fact it has been found that they tend to be up to 10 times higher. . Recent studies suggest that Omega-3 rich foods are considered one of the best natural antidepressants. Two types of omega-3 fatty acids – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – are believed to have the greatest potential to benefit people with mood disorders. Omega-3s can easily travel through the membrane of brain cells and interact with mood-related molecules within the brain. They also haveanti-inflammatory actions that can help relieve depression And this is not by chance, it is a fact that has been proven with more than 30 clinical trials that relate the effectiveness of different omega-3 preparations in people with depression. Bet on the consumption of fatty fish, yogurt, seeds and nuts.

omega 3
Omega-3./Foto: Shutterstock

3. Foods rich in B vitamins

Some B vitamins, especially folate (or folic acid), vitamins B6 and B12, have been found to be in short supply among people with depression. Therefore, betting on a higher consumption of foods rich in vitamin B could be one of the best natural antidepressants. Harvard researchers found that between 15 and 38% of people with depression are deficient in folate. It has also been proven that women who take birth control pills or hormone replacement drugs may be low in B6 (possibly the reason why women’s depression rates are twice those of men). Another common deficiency that occurs especially in vegans is vitamin B12 deficiency and is directly related to the zero consumption of animal proteins. Additionally, B vitamins are known to be a powerful ally for brain health. Bet on the consumption of tuna, shellfish, fatty fish, chickpeas, buckwheat flour, beef, eggs, lentils, spinach, orange juice, asparagus and avocados.

vitamin b12
Foods rich in vitamin B12./Photo: Shutterstock

4. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates indirectly help to produce serotoninHowever, and although we have listened to it ad nauseam, it is important to remember that not all carbohydrate sources are the same. Simple carbohydrates such as sugary and starchy foods, as well as products made with white flour also increase serotonin levels, but in a negative way as we instinctively seek them out when we feel sad. They cause blood sugar to rise rapidly and then fall rapidly, causing blood glucose spikes and altering mood. Sudden changes in blood sugar caused by Eating too many of these foods stresses the adrenal glands, which in turn leads to fatigue and depression. Fortunately, the opposite occurs with foods rich in complex carbohydrates, therefore the consumption of whole grain products such as bread, rice and pasta, vegetables, legumes and seeds, are ideal since they increase and maintain serotonin without unbalancing blood sugar .

High fiber foods
Complex carbohydrates. / Photo: Shutterstock

5. Pure chocolate

Not only is it delicious and comforting, plain chocolate is one of the most powerful natural mood-boosting stimulants. In particular, it has been found that the consumption of dark chocolate can help reduce stress and anxiety. A 2014 study found that 40 g of dark chocolate helped reduce perceived stress in female students. Numerous other studies have found that dark chocolate or cocoa can improve mood. Dark chocolate is believed to reduce stress and anxiety by being a rich source of polyphenols, especially flavonoids. Complementary to this, a study suggested that flavonoids are key to reducing neuroinflammation and cell death in the brain, as well as improving blood flow. Chocolate also has a high in tryptophan that the body uses to convert it into mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, as is the case with serotonin in the brain. Last but not least, pure chocolate is an extraordinary source of magnesium, one of the most important nutrients for reducing the symptoms of depression. PTo get its true benefits, go for 70% pure cocoa chocolate or more.

Chocolate. /Foto: Shutterstock

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