When battling depression, it is always essential to work closely with a licensed therapist or medical professional. While you know the personal history of your depression, they’ll have the mental health and medical know-how when it comes to managing symptoms. For this reason, when determining whether or not to incorporate a new supplement into your regimen, run it by them first. While most holistic remedies are harmless and effective, it’s better to confirm that your new habits won’t interfere with other medications.
Vitamins, minerals and supplements for depression
Many of the vitamins and minerals you might be inclined to take can actually be found in food products. When we say “increase these vitamins and minerals,” we’re not advocating that you buy bottles of supplements. One of the best ways to increase your nutrient intake is by consuming food products with high nutrient content.
When you’re looking to increase vitamin and minerals intake, first consider altering your diet. If you feel you’re still lacking nutrients, make sure the nutrients you’re consuming are the real deal and not loaded with additives or preservatives. Consider asking your doctor to recommend clean supplement brands.
If you’re considering increasing your vitamin intake to lessen depressive symptoms, here are some important options to ask about:
B vitamins are vital for the brain’s ability to produce mood-balancing chemicals and promote an overall state of emotional and mental wellbeing. They need to be consumed in the diet every day, and can be depleted by caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars and nicotine.
Vitamin B comes in many different forms, such as B-12, B-3 and B-9.
- B-12 – Deficiencies in B-12 have commonly been noted in individuals struggling with depression. Studies show that they work in conjunction with antidepressant medications to prevent the onset of depression. Foods containing B-12 include fish, eggs, chicken, yogurt and milk.
- B-3 (Niacin) – Individuals challenged by depression experience low levels of serotonin. B-3 can be found in fish, poultry and eggs, dairy, legumes and nuts.
- B-9 (Folate) – B-9 helps with the synthesis of serotonin and thereby offers mood-boosting benefits. B-9 can be consumed in asparagus, Brussel sprouts, beans, dark leafy greens, peanuts and sunflower seeds.
Unfortunately, many people have significantly low Vitamin D levels. Since many individuals spend significant time indoors – away from the sun, the major source of Vitamin D – they lose the opportunity for a major potential vitamin boost.
Vitamin D can help reduce inflammation, promote immunity, regulate mood and improve proper brain function. Vitamin D is best received through sunshine, but food sources include egg yolks, cheese, mackerel, tuna, salmon, mushrooms and fortified foods like milk and yogurt.
Zinc is a mineral known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to improve brain health and neurotransmitter pathways. Lacking zinc in your system is directly linked to depressive symptoms and severity, studies say. To maintain appropriate levels of zinc, it should be consumed daily as it doesn’t remain in the system for very long. Foods containing zinc include beans, meat, dairy products, cashews, poultry, seafood and whole grains.
This list is not comprehensive. Many other nutrients can be helpful in lessening depression symptoms, including, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, Vitamin C, St. John’s Wort, calcium, selenium, iron and melatonin. Again, always check with your medical provider before adding a vitamin or mineral supplement to your daily nutritional regimen.
Combatting depression takes some help
Depression is a complicated, difficult mental illness, but you don’t have to experience severe symptoms for the rest of your life. By tapping into natural remedies like vitamins and minerals, you can combat depressive symptoms naturally and effectively.
As always, check with your healthcare provider to ensure none of these supplements will interfere with your prescription medication. And to play it even safer, consider altering your diet to increase your vitamin and mineral intake easily and cost-effectively.
For more information or to talk with a counselor about depression symptoms and treatments, reach out to Silvermist Recovery today at (724) 268-4858.