~Michelle Tonkin ND
Anxiety, Depression, these mental health disorders are among the most common affecting 40 million Americans or about 18.1 % of the population according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA) While these are both very treatable conditions, it is estimated that only around 36.9% actually receive treatment. Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA
If you suffer from any mental health challenges, I encourage you to seek out kind, and compassionate care from a knowledgeable practitioner who can help you find relief.
Fortunately, there are natural solutions that can be of benefit to most everyone.
The first way you can boost your mood naturally is with diet! I am a big believer that a healthy diet is essential in not only keeping one healthy, but also keeping one healthy mentally. Some great foods to include in a regular rotation in your diet are Greens (broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, dark leafy veggies)
These are all good brain foods.
Fish or taking fish oils (Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring) are high in Omega 3’s EFA’s. EFA’s are essential for heart and brain health and are also great as natural anti-inflammatories. If you don’t like fish, try taking fish oil supplement or a supplement like Total EFA. Nuts and Seeds (these have a lot of great minerals and vitamins, and good fats).
Bananas (they are known to help produce serotonin through their high content of the vitamin B6) Throw a ½ banana in your smoothie in the mornings!
Fermented Foods (These could be things like sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, Keifer). Great for the gut microbiome and helping in gut health. 80% of our immune system is in our gut so it's essential to have a good balance of good bacteria in our gut.
“Up to 90% of our serotonin receptors are found in the gut so a healthy microbiome is essential for mood and brain health” 8 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally - CNM College of Naturopathic Medicine (naturopathy-uk.com)
Serotonin in made in our gut, so let’s feed it some of the good guys.
Beans and Lentils are filling and also contain B vitamins which also help with mood. (list from ” 8 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally - CNM College of Naturopathic Medicine (naturopathy-uk.com)
Lastly Cold pressed whey protein from grass fed cows contains the full spectrum of amino acids which can help with brain chemistry. It’s also a great choice when you don’t have a lot of time in the morning to make a healthy and filling breakfast and will keep your blood sugar stable! Isagenix shakes can also be a great addition to your diet, as they contain a complete amino acid profile that helps to balance brain chemistry and support overall mood.
because of farming practices, pesticides, chemicals, etc. our soil does not contain the nutrients it once did. Therefore, it is important to supplement your diet with essential nutrients to fill in those nutritional gaps. Here’s a few brain boosting supplements I suggest:
Adaptogens: These are herbs like ashwagandha, ginkgo Bilboa, licorice root which all help the body cope with stress. Adaptogens are meant to be used as a tool to help support the body, but they should not take the place of committing to a healthy lifestyle.
“I definitely love my adaptogens! I don’t feel the same without them. In fact, I would say that I didn’t realize how much stress I was holding onto until I was helped back into balance.”
~ Tara Nayak NP, Philadelphia.
We also suggest check out Ionix Supreme as this is a great Adaptogenic formula from Isagenix.
Omega 3’s as mentioned these are great for brain health, as well as anti-inflammatory. You can get them through fish oils, flax seeds, hemp, acai berry, olive oils etc.
B vitamins! The Mayo clinic has suggested that low amounts of these vitamins can play a role in mental health. “Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate may be linked to depression.”
Getting these vitamins, along with the appropriate therapy can help in mental health wellness. Overcoming Depression: 16 Natural Remedies to Try | The Healthy
Drink Coffee or Tea?!
Surprising right? However, experts share that those who drank 1-2 cups of coffee or tea in the mornings cut their chance of depression by 50%! “Regular, modest caffeine intake decreases the risk of depression by more than 50 percent, says Edward J. Cumella, PhD, a professor of graduate psychology with Purdue University Global in the Phoenix, AZ area.”
The Molecular Nutrition & Food Research agrees with his statement as in a 2015 issue they explain “that coffee may have a “protective effect” on the risk of depression.” Overcoming Depression: 16 Natural Remedies to Try | The Healthy
For those who love coffee we suggest Isagenix Organic Coffee which contains trace minerals, green tea and coconut oil. This coffee is organic and is alkaline (most are acidic). Most people can tell a big difference in their first cup! If you don’t like coffee, but need an energy boost, then a E-shot may be your best bet! E-shots contain Adaptogenic herbs like Eleuthero Root or Schisandra Berry and its caffeine source is from the Yerba Mate plant. This means that it will give you a lift without making you crash later. Great for those on long car trips, projects, school, business, or just needing a little extra help in the mornings!
A great way to boost your mood is to get moving! Exercise is great for heart health, bone and joints, etc. but it's also great for boosting one’s mood. The important thing is to be consistent and to do something that you enjoy!
“Richard Brown, MD, who is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at New York City’s Columbia University and coauthor of Stop Depression Now Overcoming Depression: 16 Natural Remedies to Try is a big believer in exercise for helping to improve mood. People especially during colder parts of the year tend to get less sunlight and movement, but “Physical exercise, however, encourages the release of hormones and neurochemicals that boost mood” ~ Richard Brown MD
The Mayo clinic suggest the massage is great for helping to alleviate depression as it is a form of the mind body connection. Other therapies like music, art, acupuncture etc. can also have similar benefits.
You ever feel really down in the dumps and then someone does or says something that makes you smile, and you feel better?
“Research shows that the physiology of smiling actually makes you feel happy,” ~ Edward J. Cumella, PhD.
Laughter helps us to produce the hormone serotonin, which makes us feel good.
As Lord Byron says,
“Always Laugh when you can, its cheap medicine.”
Sometimes life can get us down, but incorporating some of these natural solutions, can benefit almost everyone in their mental health and wellness. Remember there are always people available who are waiting to help. Reach out to a kind, caring and knowledgeable practitioner, counselor, psychologist etc. who can help you on your health journey.
Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA
8 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally - CNM College of Naturopathic Medicine (naturopathy-uk.com)
Overcoming Depression: 16 Natural Remedies to Try | The Healthy
Isagenix Coffee - Isagenix Product Hub - IsaProduct
Depression (major depressive disorder) - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic