Chances are, you know someone who is, was, or will be depressed and/or anxious, quite possibly to the point that it considerably affects their quality of life.
Since May is Mental Health Month, and the theme this year happens to be Mind Your Health, I thought I’d shed some light on what you can do nutritionally to address the imbalances in the body that contribute to depression and anxiety.
What do you mean? Are you saying that depression isn’t caused by a Prozac or Valium deficiency? Yes, that’s exactly correct! You don’t get depression or anxiety because suddenly your body is low in medication. Medication is just one of the treatments the medical community prescribes to treat the symptoms of depression or anxiety. It does not necessarily correct the biochemical imbalances in the body, but rather artificially tricks your body into thinking it’s no longer depressed or anxious. The good news is that from a nutritional standpoint, there are many things we can do to address the underlying causes of depression and anxiety, not only providing the patient with relief, but also promoting overall health in the process.
Many functions and systems can go haywire within the body. As these systems, mainly the blood sugar mechanism (glucose and insulin), endocrine system (your hormones) and brain chemistry (your neurotransmitters) become imbalanced, symptoms will show up in the body. These symptoms, in our case depression and anxiety, are indicators that something is wrong.
Your body is so amazing. It came prewired with the ability to tell you it needs you to adjust something you’re doing by creating a discomfort of some sort in order to get your attention. That discomfort translates into either signs (things that are detected through examination, blood work, imaging techniques, etc.) or symptoms (those things you feel that don’t feel so good such as pain, numbness, congestion, nausea, or in this case – depression or anxiety).
You see, when the systems of the body are in balance, things will be working great and there won’t be any problems that create the symptoms which are only there to alert you to the fact that there’s a problem. In other words, symptoms can be thought of as a good thing!
For a detailed look at what someone’s symptoms may be indicating, I use a NeuroTransmitter Assessment. This helps me determine where my patients’ symptoms are coming from so I know how to specifically address the imbalances in their body. If you’d like to see how you score, print out and answer the questions on the NeuroTransmitter Assessment and then Contact Me indicating you’d like help interpreting your results. Or you can schedule an Initial Consultation appointment through my Online Scheduling System.
Now, because nutrition is going to be so key in ANY healing protocol, here are a few tips you can all do to shift your body toward a healthier state in general when it comes to mental health.
A little FYI. . .these supplement suggestions are the real deal. They’re not the kind you can buy over the counter, they’re highly potent and only sold through health care practitioners. If you’d like to investigate them further by clicking the links, you’re welcome to set up an account, but don’t worry, you won’t be asked to purchase anything. And if you do, feel free to wander around the online store. Everything is 20% your 1st order with free shipping!
Get Plenty of B Vitamins
Many of the B Vitmains are found in whole foods such as beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and green vegetables. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs. For my vegan friends, I always recommend high quality products like Intrinsi B12/Folate™ or for specific mood support, St John’s Wort with Folate and B12 .
Boost Your Omega-3 Fat Intake
The cold water fatty fish such as salmon and tuna will provide the omega 3 that’s linked to improving mood. If there are concerns about the mercury content in wild fish (I recommend against farmed fish if possible), or the even more recent concern about the radiation levels found in wild fish, a high quality fish oil is a great supplement to the diet.
Fish oil supplements are an extremely sensitive subject. It’s one of the categories of nutritional supplements that if you don’t know what you’re getting, you can actually end up doing more harm than good. Most of what you find over the counter are low quality, unregulated, contaminated sources of fish oil. There literally are only 2 brands I can ethically recommend to my patients and/or personally use and give to my family, one of which is available through my online store. The other is available through my office. Here is a recommendation if you’re looking for the best of the best in quality and effectiveness Omegagenics™ EPA DHA 500 Enteric Coated.
Stabilize Your Blood Sugar
In order to correct a blood sugar imbalance, you need to do 3 things concurrently over time: Eat right, exercise and supplement with compounds to help support the blood sugar mechanism. Eating right typically includes adequate protein, consuming tons of vegetables and avoiding sugars and processed white flours. Exercise can be done in as little as 20 minutes a few times per week. And specific supplements the delicate biochemical pathways that regulate proper glucose levels. A great convenient recommendation is Wellness Essentials Healthy Balance. You’ll get all of your foundational nutrition along with specific supplements to stabilize the blood sugar, all in a once-a-day rip-open pillow pack. No bottles to open, just one little bag per day already dosed out for you.
Vitamin D is a Must
If I had to chose, I’d get my Vitamin D from the sun. In my opinion, sun screen has contributed to the increasing Vitamin D deficiency I regularly see on blood tests. When we constantly block sun exposure, our bodies don’t produce the needed Vitamin D. But if you do need to supplement, I’d choose D3 5000™.
Easy Essential Selenium
What I tell my patients is that the easiest way to get the selenium you need is to eat one Brazil nut per day. That’s it.
Load Up on Magnesium Naturally
If you eat a nutritious diet anyway, sourced from a variety of whole foods, you’re more apt to have all of your bases covered. But just in case, make sure to eat plenty of spinach, avocado, seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, black beans, quinoa and brown rice. If you’d like an additional source of magnesium, particularly if you’re tense, I like Myocalm® which combines the magnesium with a few herbs for relaxation.
If you feel that you need more specific help with your particular condition and you would like to further investigate what you can do to empower yourself from a holistic and nutritional standpoint, I encourage you to take action by consulting a natural healthcare practitioner who is well versed in this area.