The most powerful home remedies for depression begin with eating the right foods. Some will help tremendously with depression while others will definitely make this condition worse.
So here are the foods you need to avoid and the foods you need to be eating more of to successfully treat depression...
There’s a saying in the health and fitness world that if you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap (and you'll look like crap).
How true this is.
You simply cannot expect to live off junk and garbage and feel good, it’s literally impossible!
Because refined and processed foods and junk foods contain empty calories, which basically means they contain nothing of value for your body (no nutrients). Now, if you’ve already read our first home remedies for depression page you will understand why this is so important. If you haven’t then we recommend you click on the link below and read that first then come back to this page...
So as you continue to eat these foods with empty calories, your body actually craves more food because it’s not getting the nutrients it needs (a condition called Pica or Cribbing) and so the eating merry-go-round continues. This causes problems such as low blood sugar levels, low thyroid function and low adrenal gland function. And every one of these problems is a major cause of depression!
So, in addition to taking supplements that contain the full spectrum of nutrients your body must have every day, you are also going to treat and cure your depression for good by avoiding certain “bad” foods and eating more of certain “good” foods. Also remember that because you will already be supplying your body with the nutrients it needs, it's going to be much easier to break the junk food cycle and eat healthier.
Refined and processed foods: These are the main culprits that cause depression.
First off, all sugars must be cut out from the diet (and this definitely includes all soda drinks!). The problem with sugar is it severely depletes the body of L-tryptophan, and even if you are receiving enough from your diet, sugar stops it from being able to do its job. As you will remember, tryptophan is one of the best “anti depression” nutrients there is.
So low tryptophan equates to high levels of depression!
In addition to this, sugar also messes up adrenal function and causes a spike in insulin levels, both of which depression sufferers don’t want or need.
Then we have processed foods (which of course includes all junk foods). These man-made disaster foods contain nothing but empty calories, along with all sorts of artificial additives, chemicals and toxins. There really is nothing good about these foods at all. Staying completely clear of them all the time is not easy but you must make it a priority. You will not believe the huge difference it will make to your moods and your energy levels!
Tap water: From this day forward, and as one of your "home remedies for depression", vow to never drink water straight from the tap again. Tap water contains deadly fluoride. This heavy metal may be good for teeth, but it also causes cancer and depression like nothing else! The problem with fluoride is it wreaks havoc on the thyroid gland, which then leads to mood problems and depression. (It’s interesting that nearly all anti-depressant drugs, including Prozac, are fluoride products. Strange don’t you think, considering it actually causes depression?).
So only ever drink clean, filtered water from now on (bottled water is still a good alternative). A water purifier may not be cheap, but you will be thanking yourself in a few months time when you notice a big difference in how you’re feeling.
Excitotoxins Including Artificial Sweeteners and MSG: Excitotoxins are shocking foods that should not be allowed in our food supply. But unfortunately, they are so all we can do is try to avoid them as much as we can. The problem is artificial sweeteners and MSG are in so many foods today, so you really need to get good at reading labels and asking what is in the foods you are eating before you eat it! (Especially if you are eating out, etc).
Excitotoxins upset neurotransmitters in the brain, basically causing them to go totally out of whack. This can have a major impact on moods and sleeping patterns. The other down side to artificial sweeteners such as aspartame is they actually make you crave carbohydrates and put on fat, not lose it! Yes, I know, this seems illogical considering they are promoted as “diet supplements” but it’s true. A blockbuster study performed by the University of Texas back in 2005 confirmed this remarkable find.
So let me see if I’ve got this right… If you are trying to lose weight, and you suffer from depression, and you eat and drink diet products, you are actually going to put on weight and become even more depressed?
Not a very good combination is it?
Caffeine and alcohol: Although caffeine and alcohol relaxes and boosts energy, once they wear off they severely dampen our mood, which only worsens problems such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and insomnia. So both of these practices are best kept to a minimum.
Probiotic Rich Foods: The link between a lack of good bacteria in the body and the occurrence of mood problems such as depression and anxiety is slowly gathering pace. Psychologists still think this one is a load of baloney but we strongly suggest you consider it. There's now some solid research which suggests that probiotics can help tremendously with depression because of what's known as the "gut-brain axis". This means that the stomach and the brain are inextricably linked, and scientists are just now starting to realize this.
So basically how it works is you fix your intestinal problems and then you fix your mood problems!
And the best way to repair your gut and get it healthy is with the daily consumption of probiotics (good bacteria). So we recommend you find yourself a good quality probiotic supplement to take every day and start fermenting your own foods (sauerkraut, kefir, etc). This practice is not hard to do and we guarantee it will pay you big dividends health wise. Here's a great website that gives you everything you need to know on fermenting your own foods... CulturesForHealth.
And to read more about the link between probiotics and successfully treating depression, have a read of this excellent article by well-known health expert Chris Kresser.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3’s are absolutely essential for normal brain functioning. Plenty of studies have linked low levels of omega-3 fatty acids with depression. In fact, in Japan and Taiwan, where they regularly eat cold water fatty fish, the rate of depression is 10 times lower than that of the United States. Postpartum depression is also far less common.
So to boost your omega-3 intake you must supplement (with either fish oil or krill oil) and try to eat fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel and sardines at least 3 times a week. Just remember, with fish oil capsules you will need to take at least 10-12 of the 1000mg capsules per day with food for maximum benefit. Anything less just won’t have the desired effect.
Turmeric: Turmeric is one of the most potent home remedies for depression you'll find. It contains a substance known as curcumin, which is one of the strongest antioxidants and anti-inflammatories ever discovered. Because depression is basically a “brain inflammation” type disorder, sufferers benefit greatly from the anti-inflammatory components contained in turmeric. The other benefit is of course the antioxidants, which help to remove dangerous chemicals and heavy metals from the brain.
Turmeric should be used in your cooking as much as possible (you literally cannot have too much of this amazing food!). You can also add it to a smoothy every day or take turmeric supplements. Aim for 2-3 teaspoons per day.
Green tea: Green tea also contains some very potent antioxidants known as catechins or EGCG’s. These antioxidants are 1000 times stronger at scavenging free radicals than vitamin C. Depression sufferers need plenty of antioxidants, so this makes green tea another powerful addition to your “home remedies for depression” arsenal!
You need to try and drink 4-6 (strong) cups of green tea a day. Buy the blended varieties if you can’t handle the taste or add some whey powder (not processed milk) to your brew instead.
Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Gluten Free Grains: Yes I know, these aren’t the most exciting foods in the world to eat, especially if you’ve been living off a junk food diet for a while. But certain fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains are all very powerful natural remedies for depression because they contain high amounts of the anti-depression nutrients L-tyrosine and L-tryptophan, along with high levels of antioxidants.
Here’s a list of some of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains you need to be eating plenty of...
Alfalfa, asparagus, avocado, apples, broccoli, beetroot, bananas, carrots, cherries, natural cheese, cottage cheese, chicken, natural chocolate, cucumbers, eggs, fennel, fish, figs, hazelnuts, hummus, lettuce, lentils, leeks, milk (only if it’s straight from a cow), organic or MSA grade beef, parsley, pumpkin seeds, rice, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, strawberries, spinach, sweet potato, watermelon, watercress, natural yoghurt, almonds and cashews. In fact, in regards to eating cashews for depression, health experts have said that eating two handfuls of these nuts is actually the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac!
"Home Remedies for Depression" Final Note...
It’s also worth noting here that many sufferers of depression are also susceptible to food intolerances, particularly gluten (gluten can cause significant inflammatory conditions in the brain which result in mood swings and depression). It is therefore advisable to follow a gluten free diet, particularly in the beginning. As one of your best treatments and home remedies for depression, this will give you a strong start and ensure a potent and thorough “brain cleanse”.