Natural foods and herbs that help to beat depression
US population only makes up for 5% of the world population, but the use of prescribed drugs in US makes up for two thirds of all psychiatric drugs used globally. Research shows that in US, one in 10 adults suffer from some form of a depression while one in 5 kids between the ages of six to twelve is diagnosed with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD.
As a matter of fact, America’s addiction to prescription drugs suggests a sick nation. According to statistics, millions of people in US take all kinds of mind-altering psychiatric drugs and psycho-stimulants while 28% of adults in US have drinking problem and 22 million others use illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin, inhalants and hallucinogens.
We are brainwashed that we need mind-altering pharmaceutical drugs just to be able to deal with the stress and pressure of our daily lives. But the good news is that herbs and organic foods can heal and relief depression as well as other diseases without expensive medical treatments or prescription drugs.
As a matter of fact, planting your own organic garden is one of the best ways to make sure that you have access to healthy foods that are not contaminated with GMOs, heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides. Gardening is good for you physically and spiritually. By planting your own food, you can feel how the combination of sun, soil, rain and your affection can affect the well being of your plant.
Eat a balanced diet high in nutrients:
Organic fruits and vegetables are high in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, micronutrients, enzymes and fiber. Try to add the bright and dark leafy vegetables like carrots, red and green bell peppers, kale, broccoli, spinach, and celery. You can also have couple of portions of baked potatoes each week. Ideally all your vegetables should be organic to avoid pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, and carcinogens.
You can also add strawberries, papayas, mangoes, apples, oranges, nectarines, peaches, tangerines, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas to your diet. Again, consider organic produce as it is much healthier than the chemically treated fruits.
Foods high in antioxidants:
Accumulation of free radicals and toxins in the body can start damaging tissues and even the DNA of our cells. Cooking at high temperatures (specially fried onions, and fried burgers and French fries), environmental pollutions, smoking, excessive alcohol, and unprotected sun exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, and stress can all contribute to the formation of free radicals hell bent on damaging our body through stealing electrons from other essential cells.
To stay young and have more energy reduce your exposure to free radicals and toxins that cause cell deterioration. Try to consume foods high in vitamin C, E and beta carotenes to help protect your cells. Each antioxidant has its own unique effect and works as a guardian angel to protect your organs. Here is the list of the guardian angels: http://seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/foods-high-in-antioxidants-antioxidants-protect-your-health-make-you-look-great.php
A diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids found in wild salmon, avocado, nuts, olives (oil), sesame seeds and flaxseed:
Wild sockeye salmon (lowest mercury contaminated fish) is a great source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that helps with proper brain formation, increasing eyesight and stronger nerves and reducing depression. Wild salmon is also a great source of vitamin B12 and lean protein. DHA found in wild salmon is essential for breastfeeding mothers and growing kids. Keep in mind that vegan sources of DHA are found in nuts, avocados, sesame seeds, olives and flaxseed.
Avoid farmed salmon (it has 10 times more pollution compared to wild salmon) and high mercury fish (like tuna and swordfish) and reduce your meat and poultry intake.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depression:
Several studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to brain damage and depression. According to a recent study published in Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, most people with depression and mental disorders have lower levels of vitamin D. The researchers say “Effective detection and treatment of inadequate vitamin D levels in persons with depression and other mental disorders may be an easy and cost-effective therapy which could improve patients’ long-term health outcomes as well as their quality of life.”
Raw organic cacao beans (keep in mind that as beneficial as cacaos are, they are now under scrutiny):
Phenylethylamine is a natural substance that exists in dark chocolate. Our brain releases phenylethylamine when we feel loved. Phenylethylamine reduces moodiness, depression and help with better concentration. Anandamide is another chemical released in our brain when we feel happy. Cacaco beans contain N-acylethanolamines that can temporary increase the level of anandamide in the brain and make people feel good for a long time: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/is-raw-cacao-beans-actually-good-for-you-rodent-feces-insect-parts-in-cacao-beans.php
Hate to be the bearer of bad news but majority of cacaos in US are imported from Africa and South America and can be contaminated with rodent feces and insect parts. Cacao beans are often stored in storage factories for months and they are exposed to insects, mold and rodents. Then they are shipped to U.S. and are put on a conveyor belt on its way to become chocolate confectionery.
Thanks to WTO (World Trade Organization), a member can export and the legal ‘corrupt’ system they put into place is allowing producers to send their contaminated cacao all over the world. I remember the WTO protesters in Seattle, Washington claiming that WTO will make things worse. Now it seems that the claim was not totally unfounded: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/is-raw-cacao-beans-actually-good-for-you-rodent-feces-insect-parts-in-cacao-beans.php
Herbs and spices:
Turmeric: According to a study published in 2011 in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutical, turmeric can be as effective as anti-depressant drugs for improving depression and reducing negative thoughts, without having the side effects of anti-depressant drugs: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/turmeric-curcumin-as-effective-as-pharmaceutical-drugs.php
Another study published in journal of Phytotherapy Research also shows that turmeric is even more effective than Prozac for treating depression.
Maca: Maca is also another great superfood that can reduce depression and anxiety. The natural substance in maca known as phytoestrogen can increase energy level and balance hormones.
Keep in mind that there is NOTHING wrong with being depressed sometimes and popping a pill isn’t the answer to everything:
Depression is a normal reaction to the events that happens in our lives. It could also sometimes be related to the chemical reaction and hormonal imbalances in the body and there is nothing wrong with being depressed sometimes. As a matter of fact, everyone gets depressed at some point in their lives. Take one day at a time and keep in mind that healthy diet and regular exercise (like yoga and meditation) can reduce depression symptoms and help you to cope with the events in your life.