Depression approximately affects more than 3 million people in the United States alone. A majority of people resolve to taking antidepressants in an attempt to relieve their symptoms of depression but using medication doesn’t have to be your first option for treatment. You can reduce your depression, and improve your mood and overall mental health by using the following natural antidepressants.
Exercise is believed to be the number one, but often underused, natural antidepressant effective towards treating mild to moderate depression. When you exercise, the body releases chemicals known as endorphins which collaborate with receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, helping to reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and avert anxiety and feelings of depression.
Sunlight exposure is also a great natural antidepressant. An exposure to sunlight triggers the brain’s release of a hormone known as serotonin. If there is not enough exposure to sunlight, an individual’s levels of serotonin in their body can drop significantly. The low levels of serotonin can often be associated with an increased risk for people to develop depression. Getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of indirect sunlight, 2 to 3 times a week can be enough to feel the positive benefits of the sun on your mood.
Sugar can also largely aggravate depression. The consumption of sugar causes tremendous highs and lows in the body’s glucose metabolism. Also, the body uses vitamin B to process sugar. Vitamin B helps convert food into energy as well as regulate the nervous system. If you use up your vitamin B processing sugars, there won’t be much left to help regulate your mood.
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The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest which characterize depression can often lead people to use antidepressants to treat their symptoms. Using medications don’t need to be an individual’s first treatment option, in fact, changing diet and physical activity habits are some natural antidepressants that can help improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
The information herein on "Natural Antidepressants" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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