Depression is a mental health disorder causing sadness, loss of interest, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, diminished energy and poor concentration. There are different forms of depression including Bipolar Disorder and Postpartum Depression.
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St John’s Wort is a flowering shrub in the Hypericaceae perforatum family. Native to Europe, it’s June-blooming, yellow flowers have been used in medicine since ancient Greece. Named after St. John the Baptist, the presence of the photochemical, hyperforin, is the key antidepressant and anxiolytic component. St. John’s Wort has also been revered for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
St. John's Wort may help depression due its antidepressant qualities.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fats absorbed through food including fish (mackerel, salmon, seabass), vegetable oils (flax oil, soybean oil), nuts (walnuts) and seeds (flax, chia, hemp). There are three main Omega-3 Fatty Acids: ALA also known as Alpha-Linolenic Acid, EPA also known as Eicosapentaenoic Acid and DHA also known as Docosahexaenoic Acid. ALA is found naturally in plants, while EPA and DHA are found in fish. Omega-3 Fatty Acids maintain heart, vascular, lung, brain, immune and endocrine system health, while reducing inflammation.
Omega-3 Fish Oil may help depression by inducing an antidepressant effect.
SAMe, the acronym for S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is a compound found naturally in the human body. Discovered in the 1950s as a derivative of the amino acid methionine, it maintains cell membranes, in addition to, producing and regulating hormones. It is not found naturally in foods, therefore a synthetic version is required to normalize inadequate levels.
SAMe may help depression due to its antidepressant effects, specifically mechanisms increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Kava Kava is made from the ground roots of the tropical, evergreen shrub Piper methysticum. Kava Kava’s key components are lactone compounds called kavalactones, which are known to have a psychotropic effect. Native to the South Pacific islands including Hawaii, the plant has been used for hundreds of years in a ritual drink revered for its tranquilizing properties.
Neurotransmitter imbalances are believed to be a key factor in depression. Kava Kava may help depression by stimulating neurotransmitter production.
5-HTP, abbreviated from 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is a chemical produced by the body from tryptophan, an essential amino acid. Tryptophan is naturally occurring in foods including seeds (pumpkin, chia, sesame, sunflower), dairy (mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar), meat (beef, pork), poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (halibut, salmon, trout, snapper) and grain (oats, buckwheat). 5-HTP is attributed to increasing the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter affecting mood, sleep, appetite, sexual behavior and pain, while promoting feelings of well being. As a supplement, 5-HTP is produced from Griffonia simplicifolia seeds, a woody, climbing shrub native to Africa.
5-HTP may help depression by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods including fish (salmon, trout, sardines) and mushrooms (morel, chanterelle, oyster, shiitake), but more substantially from sun exposure, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays trigger synthesis.
Vitamin D may help depression by improving mental well being.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland. It works with your body’s circadian rhythm, as well as, regulates body temperature, blood pressure and hormone levels. Production naturally decreases with age. Melatonin is commonly used as a treatment for sleep disorders including jet lag and insomnia.
Melatonin may help depression by balancing circadian rhythms and promoting healthy sleep patterns.
Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is one of the eight, water-soluble B vitamins that play a key role in cellular metabolism. Naturally present in animal foods including dairy (milk, swiss cheese, eggs), fish (tuna), meat (beef) and shellfish (clams, crab). Vitamin B12 aids red blood cell production, neurological function and DNA synthesis.
Vitamin B12 may help depression by improving neurological functions.
GABA, the acronym for gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is a naturally occurring amino acid. Produced within the brain, GABA functions as an inhibiting neurotransmitter aiding in relaxation, reducing stress and pain alleviation. Found naturally in vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potato), mushrooms (shitake), legumes (soy beans, adzuki beans) and tea (green, black, oolong), as well as, fermented foods including (kefir, yogurt, tempeh).
GABA may help depression due to its inhibitory effect on excessive brain activity.
Meditation is a set of techniques encouraging a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Originating in ancient Asia, it migrated worldwide in the 20th century in the form of a religious practice. Due to its calming and relaxing effects, Meditation is used in the treatment of stress, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, pain and other mental health conditions.
Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, is one of the eight, water-soluble B vitamins that play a key role in cellular metabolism. Naturally present in foods including dairy (milk, ricotta, eggs), fish (salmon, tuna), meat (beef), poultry (chicken, turkey), vegetables (spinach, sweet potatoes, green beans) and fruits (bananas, avocado). Vitamin B6 aids red blood cell production, metabolism, and brain & nervous system health.
Vitamin B6 may help depression by improving serotonin production.
Saffron is produced from the threadlike stigmas of the Crocussativus flower. The bulbous perennial with blue-violet flowers is harvested by hand during a short autumn blooming season. Originating in Greece, it historically has been used to treat a variety of conditions from asthma to menstrual disorders to pain management. Saffron is revered for its variety of antioxidants, in addition to antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Saffron may help depression by its antidepressant effects, including balancing levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
American Ginseng or Panax quinquefolius is a herbaceous perennial and member of the ivy, Araliaceae, family. A traditional and widely-used Native American medicine, Ginseng is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Found primarily in the Appalachian and Ozark regions, as well as eastern Canada, the herb was discovered by a Jesuit priest in the 1700s and imported to China.
Chronic-stress can cause depression and/or anxiety. American Ginseng may help depression by regulating stress-induced immune responses and hormonal changes, helping to maintain homeostasis.
Zinc is an essential mineral obtained through diet. It is naturally present in foods including meat (beef, lamb, pork), shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster), legumes (chickpeas, lentils), seeds (hemp, pumpkin, sesame), nuts (pinenuts, peanuts, cashews), and vegetables (potatoes, green beans, kale). Zinc plays a key role in cellular metabolism, immune function, growth & development support and proper sensory function, including taste and smell.
ZInc may help depression by modulating the brain's response to stress.
Turmeric is made from the dried rhizomes of the Curcuma longa plant, belonging to the ginger family. Native to South Asia, Turmeric has a long history in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. The key component is the organic polyphenol, curcumin, which is responsible for giving the plant its yellow color. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects have been used in the treatment of arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory and metabolic issues.
Turmeric may help depression due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a naturally-occurring compound in the Cannabid sativa L plant, commonly known as hemp. Originating in Central Asia, hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years. CBD is non-psychoactive and has been used to treat conditions ranging from chronic pain and anxiety to autoimmune and skin diseases.
Cannabidol may help depression due to its antidepressant effects.
Folate is the natural form of Vitamin B9, sold as a supplement as Folic Acid. Folate plays a critical role in cell division, as well as the formation of red and white blood cells, DNA and RNA. Folate is found naturally in dark leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine, broccoli), fruits (oranges, lemons, banana, strawberries), legumes (beans, peanuts) and eggs.
Folate may help depression as an elevated incidence of deficiency has been found in patients with depression.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT, is a psychotherapy centered on bringing awareness to inaccurate or negative thinking, therefore altering behavioral patterns. In addition to helping individuals manage stressful situations, CBT is used in the treatment of mental health disorders including depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that naturally live in the human body. They typically include strains from the common bacteria groups, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as the yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii. Found naturally in fermented foods (kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut) and dairy (yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese), probiotics are part of the microbiome or the healthy community of organisms that keep the body healthy.
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