Four Vitamins and Herbs That May Help Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression can affect both mood and the physical body. And some of the symptoms may be consistent while others may come and go. There are approximately 19 million American adults living with depression. Trauma that occurred in early childhood, family history, medical conditions, and brain structure can be some of the causes of depression. There are prescription medications that treat depression, as well there are natural supplements that have shown to subside the symptoms of depression.

Vitamins and Herbs That May Help Depression

1. Vitamin D deficiency can play a role in mental disorders and depression. Researchers found that people with depression tend to be deficient in vitamin D and people who had low levels of vitamin D were more susceptible to depression. You can get your daily dose of vitamin D through supplementation, sunshine, or food such as eggs, cod liver oil, and sardines.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids play an important role in brain function therefore it has been shown to treat depression. There is a brain chemical that depressed people are low in and this can be found in omega-3s. Getting your daily dose of omega-3s can be done by supplementation, and eating foods such as fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines), and nuts and seeds (walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds).

3. St. John’s Wort is an herb that has been used for centuries for a range of illnesses. Research shows that St. John’s Wort is an effective way to treat depression. People with depression can have lower levels of serotonin. And, St. John’s Wort increases the levels of serotonin, which is a feel-good chemical in the brain, and this is how it works to treat depression.

4. Zinc has been shown to have an antidepressant effect, as it is an essential nutrient that is connected to mental functions such as behavior. And deficiencies in this mineral have been linked to depression. There was a study conducted in Japan that found women who took zinc supplementation daily improved their moods and reduced anger.

Precautions

There are medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of depression, such as vitamin deficiencies and thyroid disorders; therefore, speaking with your doctor about this can provide clarity. As well, before starting new natural treatments, it is important to consult with a medical professional, as they will advise you on the best course of action.

Sources: Very Well Mind, Psychology Today
Photo: Pexels

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