A large section of society, in the West as well as in India, suffers from depression. 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 proved to be as good as anti-depressant therapies. Here are a few of them :
**Meditation : A strong mind-body connection may help us feel calmer and happier. There’s no right or wrong way to meditate —- it requires nothing more than a quiet location, a comfortable position, relaxed breathing and focussing your attention on something specific (your breath or an object). Practising meditation for just 15 minutes a day can help relieve symptoms of depression.
** Vitamin C : Vitamin C is an antioxidant that many of us associate with curing the common cold. It also protects us from stroke, and it is beneficial to our eye health and boosts our immunity system. Vitamin C may also alleviate symptoms of depression —— it plays a role in how our body synthesises the neuro-transmitter (norepinephrine), a brain chemical that affects our mood. So, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, including citrus fruits, strawberry, 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 isn’t 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, the body temperature rises and our body releases chemicals that make us feel good — endorphins.
** Mediterranean Diet : This diet could help reduce your risk for depression. The Mediterranean diet emphasises eating mono-unsaturated fatty acids (for example choose olive oil over butter), lots of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, nuts, legumes, and B vitamins from fruits, veggies and whole grains. Meat, dairy and alcohol are not forbidden, but they are not the focus.
** Magnesium : Symptoms of depression —– from mild apathy to psychosis, may be related to a deficiency of magnesium. Choose foods such as seeds and nuts (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds and cashews) beans and legumes soybeans, spinach and whole grains.
** Vitamin B : Doctors prescribe folic acid to relieve depression. B vitamins help our bodies make brain chemicals 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 3 are linked to depression and other mood disorders.
** Yoga : A study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Neuroscience in India found that upto 73% of people who practised 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.