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Mood lifters: Home cures for depression

DC CORRESPONDENT | February 21, 2015, 06.02 am IST

While a very small percentage of Indians acknowledge that they have a


problem and seek professional help, there are some home remedies for
depression that have proven to be as good as antidepressant therapies
Vitamin B:
Doctors prescribe folic acid to relieve depression.

B vitamins help our bodies make brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that


help regulate our moods and transmit messages through our brain. All B
vitamins play an important role in this but folic acid, B6 and B12 deficiencies,
specifically, can affect the production of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid),
serotonin and dopamine low levels of these three neurotransmitters are
linked to depression and other mood disorders.
Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that many of us associate with curing the common cold. While it may not be the
common cold cure we all hope for, it does help protect us from cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease,
and it is beneficial to our eye health and boosts our immune system.
Vitamin C may also alleviate symptoms of depression it plays a role in how our body synthesises the
neurotransmitter norepinephrine, a brain chemical that affects our mood.
So, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet including citrus fruits, strawberries, melons, pineapple,
berries, bell peppers, tomatoes and dark leafy greens, or have Vitamin C supplements.

Exercise:
While the link between exercise and alleviating symptoms of depression isnt
clear, researchers have found that regular exercise 30 to 60 minutes of
moderate exercise most days of the week can lift mood, reduce stress and

boost self-esteem as well as protect against heart disease, high blood


pressure and cancer.
When we exercise, our body temperature rises, which calms us, and our body releases chemicals that make
us feel good: endorphins and norepinephrine.
Magnesium:
Symptoms of depression from mild apathy to psychosis and even suicidal thoughts may be related to a
deficiency in magnesium.

While magnesium deficiencies are rare, increasing magnesium-rich foods in


your daily diet could help boost your mood. Choose foods such as seeds and
nuts (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds and cashews), beans
and legumes (black beans, navy beans, soybeans), dark leafy greens like
spinach and whole grains.
Mediterranean diet:
A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that a
Mediterranean diet could help reduce your risk for depression. The
Mediterranean diet emphasises eating monounsaturated fatty acids (for
example, choose olive oil over butter), lots of omega-3 fatty acids from fish,
nuts and legumes, and B vitamins from fruits, veggies and whole grains.
Meat, dairy and alcohol arent forbidden but they arent the focus.
Meditation:
A study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Neuroscience in India found that up
to 73 per cent of people who practiced a form of yoga called Sudarshan Kriya, where the emphasis is on
breathing naturally through the nose with the mouth closed in three distinct rhythms, found relief from
depression.