If you are experiencing depression, you need to treat the core of your symptoms with a healthy combination of nutrition and lifestyle changes. Every step of healing starts from the inside out.
- Start with a healthy diet: The first step to tackling depression is to start eating healthy. This means including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Fruits and veggies are chock full of nutrients that support your mood, and overall health. When your body is starved of nutrients, your whole body chemistry is thrown off.
You'll also want to include foods that contain lots of B-complex vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients help reduce your stress levels. Omega-3s also help support healthy brain function.
You can also increase your consumption of foods that your body finds very calming such as: steamed vegetables, brown rice, mashed potatoes, yogurt and oatmeal. These comfort foods are also packed with the nutrients your body needs to battle depression.
Some things to avoid: Some foods and beverages are strong triggers for depression and you should avoid them at all costs. Try to stay away from alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed foods and foods that contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives (including nitrate-preserved meats), as well as cola drinks and fried foods. All of these types of foods and beverages can wreak havoc on your system, leaving you more susceptible to depression.
- Don't forget to exercise: Exercise is extremely important when it comes to treating depression. Exercise increases oxygen to your brain and the rest of your body. Physical activity also helps your body relieve stress and remove toxins from your system.
Exercise gets the feel-good endorphins running through your body which elevates your mood naturally. You can also try relaxation exercises like yoga, which strengthens your body and calms your mind. Yoga is a great stress reliever and can also help provide spiritual guidance to help put your life into perspective.
- Be social: Also don't underestimate the power of spending time with friends and family or having a good laugh. Get involved in your community and volunteer. Social activities where you bond with other people boost your mood and your immune system.