Are you living a depressed and stressed lifestyle? There is no doubt that our fast-paced days in which many are living pay check to pay check are a big contributor to these negative feelings. Some statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 1 in 10 American adults report depression, but everyone experiences some level of depression at some point in their lifetime. Luckily, there are natural solutions for avoiding and treating depression.
The best part? These tips could not only make you a happier person, but also a healthier person.
Here are 5 potential solutions for avoiding depression.
1. Treating Depression – Avoid Junk Food, Fast Food, and Processed Food
It may or may not be surprising, but junk food has actually been linked to depression. In fact, according to one study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, both junk food and fast food (if there is really a difference) consumption sparks depression. The researchers found that those consuming fast food are 51 percent more likely to be depressed than those consuming very little or none of the health-compromising food. The study concludes with: “Fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption may have a detrimental effect on depression risk.”
Sugary sodas, high-fructose corn syrup, and again, processed foods, also contribute to depression by causing ill health effects. These effects lead to obesity, diabetes, numerous other health problems, and eventually to feelings of self-pity and depression due to feeling physically weak.
2. Expose Yourself to more Sunlight, Up Vitamin D3 Intake
You’ve probably heard it before: if you’re feeling depressed, get some mood-uplifting sun exposure. Well, this advice actually holds true for multiple reasons. There are a multitude of studies that have found an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of depression. Further, increasing vitamin D was found to reduce depression risk specifically.
One study concluded with:
“We found that low vitamin D levels are associated with depressive symptoms, especially in persons with a history of depression. These findings suggest that primary care patients with a history of depression may be an important target for assessment of vitamin D levels.”
Other research has also found that high levels of vitamin D corresponds with a decreased risk of prolonged existing depression. The study, involving the elderly, showed that those with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to be depressed than individuals with healthy levels — sometimes upwards of 11 times more likely.
3. Don’t Drink Diet Soda
Similar to findings linking processed foods with depression, research has also found a link between diet soda consumption and depression. A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that 31% of individuals consuming 4+ daily servings of artificially sweetened soda, iced tea, or fruit drinks had been diagnosed with depression. This compares to 22% of regular soda drinkers reporting a diagnosis of depression.
Further, those drinking 4 or more cups of coffee per day were 10% less likely to suffer from depression than non-coffee drinkers.
4. Consider Throwing Away the Antidepressants
Some individuals taking antidepressants view the medication as a life-saver, but these pharmaceuticals often have no positive effect. In fact, research has shown that a simple placebo can match antidepressants.
A Harvard Medical School lecturer and Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies at Harvard was recently featured in a CBS 60 Minutes new program showing that anti-depressants are useless for mild to moderately depressed patients. A placebo is almost always nearly as effective. The best part? No negative side-effects.
5. Stop Ingesting so much Fluoride
Seeing as fluoride can lower IQ, cause cancer, damage the thyroid and pineal gland, and even up heart disease risk, is it any surprise that the toxic chemical can cause depression?
“Many Americans are exposed to fluoride in the ranges associated with thyroid effects, especially for people with iodine deficiency,” Kathleen Thiessen, Ph.D. and co-author of the government-sponsored National Research Council report, wrote. “The recent decline in iodine intake in the U.S could contribute to increased toxicity of fluoride for some individuals…A low level of thyroid hormone can increase the risk of cardiac disease, high cholesterol, depression and, in pregnant woman, decreased intelligence of offspring.”