Doctors are so quick to write a prescription to help cure a patient’s bout with depression rather than look at the underlying causes. I know because I have been on so many depression medications that I felt like I was walking around like a Zombie with a smile. I am so grateful that I waved my white flag to my doctor and said “enough is enough.” I wanted to live my life with my real emotions by finding the right balance of fitness and nutrition that would heal me from the inside, out. Don’t get me wrong, in rare instances, the solution may be medication, but in most cases, reviewing potential nutritional imbalances and correcting them will alleviate symptoms of depression. Before you let your doctor write that script, I encourage you to have base-line blood work done to see what nutrients you may be missing.
There is a strong connection to what we eat and how our brains function. Poor cognitive abilities, symptoms of depression, trouble concentrating and feeling anxious all stem from a lack of nutrients in the brain. About ten nutrients if deficient, can lead to symptoms of depression. I think I was deficient in all 10 and then some.
Vitamin B Complex
It’s amazing what B vitamins can do. They help with healthy skin and nails and play a role in cell metabolism helping our bodies convert food into energy to keep us energized all day long. Vitamin B also helps reduce the risk of stroke. A Vitamin B deficiency, on the other hand, can wreak havoc on our mental health. The best sources of Vitamin B-6 are leafy greens, seafood, and poultry. For good sources of B-12, add more lean meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
Omega- 3 Fatty Acids
This essential mineral reduces inflammation and helps to improve mood and memory. Good sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids are salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed. Some people may still be deficient despite eating these foods regularly. Taking a good quality supplement will help.
Half of the American population shares a deficiency in magnesium, thanks in part to the American lifestyle. We drink too much alcohol and coffee, and consume too much sugar. Our lives are stressful, and we are often given antibiotics that contribute to lower levels of magnesium that in turn contribute to symptoms of depression. You can take a supplement, or add more beans and greens to you diet. If you are really daring, seaweed is another source of the feel good mineral.
Iron deficiencies are common among women, but not as often seen in men. The most frequently seen iron deficiency is anemia, whose symptoms mimic those of depression, brain fog and irritability. It’s recommended that adults get 8 to 18 mg iron a day. Red meat, fish, and poultry are good sources, as are dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and sunflower seeds.
A lack of vitamin D is another contributing factor to depression. In the fall and winter there are fewer daylight hours and less opportunity to be outside to absorb this vitamin from the sun, one of the richest sources of Vitamin D. It’s recommended by the National Institutes of Health, that we get 600IUs of Vitamin D daily. Since we can’t always get it from the sun, other sources to consider are salmon, canned tuna, fortified orange juice and supplements, not to mention a daily Shakeology shake.
The good news is Shakeology is loaded with micronutrients, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. A daily shake will give you a boost of all of these nutrients you may be missing and get you back to feeling great!
For more information on Shakeology and its nutritional benefits, contact me at…… I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and help you find a program that will have you feeling great.