9 Quick Tricks To Heal Inflammation & Soothe Depression
If you’re feeling sad or blue or are suffering from mild to moderate depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, bipolar II, or anxiety, Dr. Ellen Vora has the tips and tools you need to help manage your symptoms and feel vibrantly healthy.
More and more, we're learning that inflammation is intricately connected to depression. In fact, it might be the root cause of it altogether. If you're suffering from depression, I recommend working with a qualified health care professional and focusing seriously on lifestyle and dietary changes that help you reduce chronic underlying inflammation and boost mood.
Here are a few quick go-to tips to soothe inflammation in your body and help lift your depression:
- Try fermented foods.
There's an intricate connection between gut health, inflammation, and mood. Consuming plenty of fermented foods will help promote more beneficial bacteria in your gut.
- Supplement with a probiotic.
I can't stress enough the importance of a healthy, happy gut. Taking a high-quality probiotic can help get your gut microbiome back on track.
- Consume plenty of omega-3 fats.
You can accomplish this by eating cold-water fatty fish (like salmon) or taking a good fish oil supplement, such as cod liver oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the production of serotonin, also known as the happiness hormone, and people with depression are more likely to be deficient in omega-3s.
- Make olive oil and deeply pigmented vegetables, like beets and cherries, part of your daily routine.
These foods are high in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and fight oxidative stress in the body to prevent diseases, including those of the brain that affect mood. Research even suggests that oxidative stress is directly related to depressive disorders.
- Cook with onions, garlic, and ginger.
This trio is the anti-inflammatory holy trinity! It's just an added bonus that they all taste great and can upgrade almost any recipe you're making for dinner. There hasn't been significant research in this area in humans, but researchers have tested the antidepressant activity of garlic on mice and found significant antidepressant-like activity, which is promising.
- Cook with turmeric and black pepper.
When we're talking about inflammation, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention turmeric. Try consuming it in the form of golden milk, which is a traditional ayurvedic turmeric latte. Always add black pepper to increase turmeric's bioavailability. For the first few months, you may even want to supplement with curcumin, which is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric. It's a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Both curcumin and turmeric have exhibited antidepressant effects in peer-reviewed research.
For More on Mood Boosting, check out our 3 Step Body Kit with Vitamin B12 here.
Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people with an existing deficiency.
By Ellen Vora, M.D.