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Combatting Depression with Nutrition

Feeling down? Extremely down and wondering if you have depression?

Before making an appointment with your psychiatrist, you might want to consider to get lab work done under your regular doctor’s supervision and have your nutrition levels tested.  There are a wide variety of essential amino acids (healthy proteins) and essential fatty acids (healthy fats) that can create a much healthier chemical and physiological environment for your optimal emotional and psychological functioning.  Ultimately you and your doctor can determine the need for deeper medical or psychological evaluation but you may find that getting nutrition levels checked and addressing any deficiencies that could be the answer to achieving balanced emotional and  mental well being.

For optimal physical and mental health, make certain you are getting enough of the following in your diet:

Vitamin D
Are you getting enough Vitamin D? A lack of vitamin d has been linked to autism, dementia, and depression. Most people get less vitamin d during the winter months because sunlight is our greatest resource.  If sunshine is seasonally rare, vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and effective.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids help with memory and mood. In order to have optimal levels of Omega-3’s, eat plenty of salmon, tuna, halibut, flaxseeds, and walnuts. The nutrients help reduce inflammation and assist with brain function.

Vitamin B 

Studies show vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6 provide incredible health benefits, including healthy skin and nails, reducing stroke, and aiding with mental health. Your best sources for getting more Vitamin B in your diet are bananas, leafy greens, seafood, lean poultry, eggs, and clams.

Chances are you have a magnesium deficient diet, because many Americans do. Excess salt, coffee, sugar, alcohol, phosphoric acid (in soda), stress, and diuretics, all contribute to lower levels of magnesium. Magnesium is often referred to as a stress antidote, “the most powerful relaxation mineral that exists.” You can find magnesium in beans, greens, and seaweed.  You can also find some very absorbable types of magnesium in supplement form.

Amino Acids

Amino acids help our brains function properly – they are the building blocks of protein. When you have an amino acid deficiency, you may feel sluggish, unfocused, and depressed. Eat beef, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds for a healthier brain.

Zinc is crucial to our bodies for many reasons. It activates our digestive enzymes which help us to break down our food and helps to prevent allergies (which helps with depression in some people because some of our moods can be triggered by food allergies). Zinc helps our DNA to repair and produce protein, and controls inflammation and boosts our immune systems. Foods high in zinc are grass fed beef, yogurt, lamb, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, mushrooms, chicken, and spinach.

Your thyroid needs iodine to work properly. Your thyroid affects more than you think, including your energy, metabolism, body temperature, immune system growth, and mental performance (concentration, memory, and more). When you aren’t getting enough iodine, you can begin to feel depressed. To enrich your diet with more iodine, eat shrimp, cod, seaweed and iodine enriched salt.

Iron deficiencies are quite common in women. The most common form of anemia which is an insufficient number of bloods cells, is caused by low iron levels. You may find you have depression, fatigue, brain fog, and irritability. To increase your iron, include red meat, poultry, liver, and fish, in your daily diet.

Depression is overwhelming and is a serious condition. Make sure you are eating right and getting the proper medical care you need to help combat it.

To your greatest mental and physical health,


About Crystal Dwyer Hansen
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