(Natural News) The number of people suffering from depression continues to increase throughout the years, and that fact itself is depressing. Every year, more than 19 million Americans suffer from depression, and one in 10 depressed adults takes antidepressant drugs. Despite what Big Pharma would have you believe, these medications are often ineffective and cause harmful side effects that only worsen the person’s condition. Consider taking safer, natural antidepressants, like the ones detailed below.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine – Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that is known to have brain-boosting and anti-aging properties. It works by producing acetylcholine, the main neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. Moreover, it works faster against depression than store-bought antidepressants.
- Arctic root – Arctic root is an herb primarily found in cold regions of the world. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used as an adaptogen to boost stamina and reduce fatigue caused by stress. It is a great antidepressant as it increases the activities of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain.
- Curcumin – Curcumin is the main active ingredient in the golden spice called turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to be as effective as Prozac, the most popular SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It works by increasing the levels of serotonin, which is the brain chemical responsible for happiness, and dopamine, which is the motivation molecule and is responsible for the brain’s pleasure-reward system.
- Fish oil – People with depression often have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. A deficiency of one particular omega-3, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is associated with depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Therefore, supplementing with these healthy fats may help relieve symptoms. You can get omega-3 from fatty fish like sardines and salmon. You can also take fish oil supplements if fish is not a regular part of your diet.
- Green tea – Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is known to fight depression. This compound also increases your resilience to stress. Moreover, it also fights anxiety as effectively as anti-anxiety drugs.
- Kava – Kava is a traditional tea in south Pacific cultures consumed for relaxation. This remedy is helpful for people with depression along with stress or anxiety. It works by increasing the level of GABA, the relaxing brain chemical.
- Saffron – Saffron is a natural antidepressant that is as effective as Prozac. It works by acting on serotonin metabolism. When buying a saffron supplement, make sure that it is of high quality. (Related: Saffron For Depression And Anxiety.)
- St. John’s Wort – This herb is one of the most popular natural antidepressants as it increases serotonin levels. While it effectively reduces depression, it has many side effects such as anxiety, nausea, panic attacks, and dizziness.
- Tryptophan – Tryptophan is an essential amino acid precursor to both serotonin and melatonin, which is the body’s natural sleep hormone. Having low levels of tryptophan has been linked to mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Tryptophan can be found in animal protein foods like eggs and meat, but protein inhibits the synthesis of tryptophan into serotonin. Therefore, it is better to take tryptophan supplements.
Lifestyle changes that help treat depression
Aside from taking supplements, following healthy lifestyle habits can also help fight depression. Here are some of them:
- Use healthy oils – Instead of using canola oil, choose extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Extra virgin olive oil can reduce your risk of depression by half, while coconut oil can fight depression as effectively as store-bought antidepressants.
- Exercise – Physical exercise not only improves your physical health, but also your mental health. It increases blood flow to the brain, delivering more oxygen and nutrients, at the same time, eliminating toxins and metabolic waste. Exercise also promotes new brain cell formation and greater connectivity between brain areas.
- Meditate – Meditation helps reduce anxiety, depression, and pain, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers. It also increases serotonin and GABA and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which contributes to depression.
- Get a hobby – Getting a hobby can serve as a natural antidepressant. It focuses your mind similarly to meditation, releases dopamine, and fights against brain aging.
- Breathing – Practicing proper breathing techniques can also help reduce anxiety and depression.
You don’t have to compromise your health just to fight against depression – there are many natural, safer alternatives to antidepressant drugs. Learn more natural ways to beat depression at BeatDepression.news.