Depression is becoming increasingly frequent during recent decades. It’s one of the diseases which we could call “a disease of civilization”. It is a problem which affects the whole body – the nervous system, mind and overall behaviour. It affects appetite sleep and all of our feelings.
There are different forms of depression – from mild depressive states (dysthymia) to severe (manic) depression. The most severe form is melancholy, which can lead to suicidal thoughts and an utter inability to engage in any activity.
There are many different causes of depression – the most common one is the imbalance in levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals that affect brain function), another one being a variety of stressful events in our lives – trauma, death in family, job loss, divorce, etc. An important role is also played by thyroid disorders, excessive consumption of sugar and alcohol, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies and hereditary factors. In the nordic countries (for example Scandinavic states), there’s so called “seasonal” depression, which arises from the lack of daylight and causes lethardy, fatigue and sadness.
Depression and Nutrition – tips
People who are taking antidepressants can often be helped by use of certain products. Important – never mix these products with prescribed medication without consulting your physician!
With depression are often linked low levels of vitamin B complex and vitamin C – they play an important role in the formation of neurotransmitters in the brain and may increase the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs. The combination of calcium and magnesium relaxes the overall tension and calms nerves.
A suitable and safe alternative are extracts from St. John’s and 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan) – but should not be combined with medications.
One of the most effective antidepressants is a regular exercise. It’s also strongly recommended to reduce smoking and reducing the intake of alcohol and coffee.
Amino acid tryptophan in the brain also supports the creation of neurotransmitters serotonin, which helps regulate mood. A rich source of this substance are some fish (salmon) and dairy products.