Depressive disorder refers to losing the ability to feel joy, having problems with sleep, concentration, appetite, and weight. It is a day to day uphill struggle, bringing to the point where it ‘s hard to get out of bed. Depression consumes our energy; we lose hope, it makes difficult to do what we need to feel better.
The overcoming depressive disorder is neither quick nor easy, but it’s far from impossible.
We can’t just magically command ourselves to “snap out of it,” but we can take more control than we realize. The key is to start small and build from there. Mother nature can help us prevent a depressive period from getting worse, but feeling better takes time.
- 1 ounce of dry roasted almonds or cashews (covers 20% of the recommended daily value)
- 1/2 cup of cooked black beans (covers 15% of the recommended daily value)
- 1 medium banana (covers 8% of the recommended daily value)
- 1/2 cup of boiled spinach (covers 20% of the recommended daily value)
- 1 cup of soymilk: (covers 15% of the recommended daily value)
When in doubt, go for the nuts and dark leafy greens, or load up on pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium in addition to healthy fats, both of which can help alleviate your mood. They are also a source of L-tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for the production of serotonin.
Your happiness requires just one generous cup of pumpkin seeds once a day.
3. Folic Acid
Folic acid or folate is a B vitamin that is often deficient with people suffering from the depressive disorder. A study performed at Harvard University has found that people suffering from the depressive disorder and low folate levels don’t react well to prescribed antidepressants. Furthermore, researchers found that taking folic acid supplements has improved the patient’s response and effectiveness of antidepressants.
As we said at the beginning, folic acid and folate are often considered as one and the same, but this is not entirely accurate. Folate is a natural form of vitamin B9 found in a variety of plants, and folic acid is the synthetic form of the same vitamin found in supplements. Mother nature made us more adept at using folate, which is understandable, and we can regulate our levels of folate by releasing excess through the urine.
Where to find folates?
Spinach! Yes, this dark leafy green is rich in folate, so for an immediate boost in folate just consider adding more spinach to your diet. One cup of spinach (approx. 270 mg) account for 65% of your daily needs. Asparagus stands shoulder to shoulder with spinach regarding the folates, and it is also rich in other nutrients like Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.
Besides dark leafy greens, you can increase the intake of folate by adding other fruits and veggies to your daily diet:
- One papaya = approx. 29% DV
- One orange = 10% DV
- One grapefruit = 8% DV
- Strawberries (1cup) = 6.5% DV
- Raspberries (1cup) = 4% DV
Or some beans, peas, and lentils:
- Lentils (1cup) = 90% DV
- Pinto Beans (1cup) = 74% DV
- Garbanzo Beans (1cup) = 71% DV
- Black Beans (1cup) = 64% DV
- Navy Beans (1cup) = 64% DV
- Kidney Beans (1cup) = 57% DV
- Lima Beans (1cup) = 39% DV
- Split Peas (1cup) = 32% DV
- Green Peas (1cup) = 25% DV
- Green Beans (1cup) = 10% DV
All of these greens should be part of your diet. But what should be avoided?
4. Reduce the Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can both mess up your mood. Alcohol is a depressant. The more you drink, the more you became depressed. Caffeine on the other side stimulates the central nervous system which, as a response can lead to insomnia, increased mood swings and anxiety.
Although some studies sometimes are identifying the positive effects of caffeine on depressive disorders, in general, you don’t want to put more excitement into your nervous system. If you are a caffeine addict suffering from the depressive disorder, you have to consult this matter with your doctor. In the meantime, drink more water!
5. Get fit
Exercises have a significant impact on your mood and state of mind. It’s well known that cardio exercises are increasing endorphins which are our body’s natural mood enhancer. By doing exercises, you also circulate oxygen all over your body. This state is commonly known as “exercise high” and can keep you in a positive mood throughout the day.
Besides cardiovascular workouts, stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates can relieve tightness in your muscles, reduce tension, and have an overall relaxing effect on your body.
Physical activity is increasing your energy, balance, and flexibility. Exercise is a safe and natural way to achieve a positive mood, but just to be on the safe side, check with your physician before starting a new workout program.