Most of us may have heard of the popular saying, “We are what we eat”, right? Well, the saying makes a lot of sense, because the kind of diet and lifestyle we follow plays a major role when it comes to our health.
Even without knowing the findings of research studies or scientific facts, we would understand with the help of personal experience that the healthier we eat the healthier we remain.
We may notice that if we eat unhealthy foods, such as fast food, fried food, sweets, etc., for a few days in a row, we will surely get sick.
Similarly, when we make an effort to eat balanced, healthy meals every day, we surely can notice the positive difference in our health.
Now, most of us would know of the serious mental illness, depression, right?
Depression is a mental health condition in which due to the imbalance of certain chemicals and hormones in the brain, a series of symptoms occur.
These symptoms include a persistent feeling of sadness and doom, lack of energy and interest in activities, lack of concentration, excessive crying, agitation, appetite changes, overthinking, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, etc.
So, depression is a very serious condition and does need medical attention and any form of treatments available.
Now, our dietary habits and the nutrients we get from our diet can also prevent and treat a number of diseases, including depression.
Vitamins that we get from our food have the ability to treat depression naturally, or we can also take vitamin supplements, after talking to our doctor.
So, here are a few vitamins, which can help treat depression naturally.
1. Vitamin D:The main source of vitamin D is sunlight and vitamin D is a very essential nutrient which can treat depression, along with a number of other ailments.
Vitamin D is known to strengthen certain receptors in the brain, thus boosting the serotonin levels.
When the serotonin hormone level is optimum in the brain, symptoms of depression can be reduced.
Vitamin D can also be found in egg yolk, cheese, beef, oranges, fish, soy milk, etc.
2. Vitamin B6:Vitamin B6 is yet another nutrient which can ease away symptoms of depression, as it boosts nerve functioning in the brain and is also capable of fixing brain hormonal imbalance, which could be a cause of depression.
Adding foods rich in vitamin B6, such as pork, chicken, fish, whole wheat bread, beans, eggs, vegetables, etc. to your diet can help you get optimum levels of vitamin B6.
3. Vitamin B3:Low levels of serotonin in the brain is the main cause of depression.
Vitamin B3 has the ability to boost the production of serotonin in the brain, thus aiding in the treatment of depression.
Some of the best food sources of vitamin B3 are mushrooms, peanuts, green peas, fish, turkey, grass-fed beef, etc.
4. Vitamin B12:A number of research studies have shown that consuming a vitamin B12-rich diet can help stabilise moods, improve mental energy and also reduce depression, as this vitamin has the ability to keep the neurotransmitters in the brain healthy.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 are meat, liver and kidney of poultry, shellfish, fish, milk, dairy products, beef, etc.
5. Vitamin C:Vitamin C is one of the most versatile nutrients, as it has a number of health benefits, one of which includes treating depression.
Research studies conducted over the years have shown that vitamin C has a significant effect on improving moods and reducing certain symptoms of depression, such as lack of concentration.
Experts opine that this could be because vitamin C has the ability to keep the brain cells rejuvenated.
Some of the best food sources of vitamin C are oranges, berries, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, spinach, capsicum, leafy greens, etc.
6. Vitamin E:A research study conducted by the University Of Wollongong, in Australia, found that consuming vitamin E through the diet or by taking supplements, on a daily basis can decrease depression to a significant extent, as vitamin E can keep the neurotransmitters in the brain healthy.
Some of the dietary sources of vitamin E are peanuts, hazelnuts, fish, fish oil, sunflower seeds, leafy greens, almonds, coconut oil, etc.
7. Vitamin B9:Vitamin B9 is also commonly known as folic acid and comes with a number of health benefits.
Folic acid is also an essential nutrient in treating depression, as it can improve the serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which can reduce depression symptoms.
Food sources of vitamin B9 are lentils, beans, peas, avocados, green vegetables, spinach, okra, citrus fruit, etc.
Note : Do note that if a patient is showing extreme signs of depression, such as persistent crying, excessive mood swings, irrational behaviour and suicidal tendencies, then immediate medical help must be sought. Natural remedies can be used along with the medications and treatments prescribed by the doctor.