Depression & Vitamin D
Vitamin D is critical to brain health. So much so that deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to depression.
Considered the leading cause of disability worldwide, experts estimate that within 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem. Clinical studies determined that the likelihood of people experiencing depression was significantly higher in people with Vitamin D deficiency compared to those with vitamin D sufficiency.
How can naturopathy help?
Vitamin D, Depression and the Sun Connection
Exposing your skin to the sun for 20-30 minutes is Mother Nature’s most effective way to improve your Vitamin D status in the body. The added benefit is that the body makes as much Vitamin D as it needs and stores the balance in body fat for “rainy days”, eliminating the risk of overdose when taken in the form of supplements without the supervision of a medical professional.
Vitamin D and Food
Certain foods, such as mackerel, sardines, herring, halibut and oysters, are rich in Vitamin D. Cod liver oil is another excellent supplement containing Vitamins A and D as well as high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
In general, while there are no hard and fast rules for particular dietary regimen to prevent depression, research links food with mood. Dietary modifications can bring about chemical and physiological changes in the brain structure, improving mood and mental outlook.
5 Best Diet Regimen:”
- Get plenty of Vitamin D on a daily basis.
- Eat a Mediterranean-type diet high in nutrients and antioxidants, including plenty of fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and fish.
- Eat “smart” carbs for a calming effect. Limit sugary foods and opt for whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which contribute healthy carbs as well as fiber.
- Eat protein-rich foods to boost alertness. Foods like lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, soy products or yogurt boosts levels of the brain chemicals that help you stay alert and focused.
- Watch your lifestyle habits. Alcohol, drugs and caffeine affect mood and sleep. Studies also show that obese people are more likely to become depressed and depressed people are more likely to become obese. Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol and maintaining a healthy weight will reduce physiological changes that occur in hormones that contribute to depression.