You’ve likely been told by everyone from your mother to your doctor that it’s important to take your vitamins. Essential vitamins and minerals are necessary to keep you physically healthy, and studies have shown that they also keep you mentally fit. Depression is a debilitating condition that affects a large number of people in various ways and there is a list of the best vitamins for depression. If you have been diagnosed with depression, or you feel like you’re sliding down the slippery slope that leads there, it might have a lot to do with your body’s need for vitamins. Certain deficiencies can put you at risk for depression. Take a look at some of the best vitamins for depression.
Best Vitamins for Depression: Vitamin B12
According to Harvard and the New England Journal of Medicine, Vitamin B12 deficiencies can be difficult to detect and a major player in depression. The study went on to address the fact that this particular vitamin is often missing from the diets of older people. It could explain depression that sets in later in life, particularly among senior citizens. Check your B12 level, especially if you are 50 years of age or older, a vegetarian or someone who has a medical condition that interferes with your body’s ability to absorb food. Taking the best vitamins for depression means increasing your B12 through what you eat (meat, poultry, eggs), or taking a supplement that replaces what your body may be missing.
Best Vitamins for Depression: Vitamins B6 and B3
The best vitamins for depression don’t end with the B12. You need additional B complex vitamins to ensure you don’t become depressed, specifically B6 and B3. These vitamins have the ability to increase the amount of serotonin produced by your brain. This compound has a direct impact on your mental stability, emotional balance and the way you feel. Adults who already suffer from depression have demonstrated improvement from studies that include an increase in the amount of B complex vitamins they take. Other studies have proven that people with depression have had lower than normal levels of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B3. These best vitamins for depression can be found in foods like meat and poultry. Turkey contains tryptophan, which increases your vitamin B levels because that tryptophan is quickly converted to serotonin. If you change your diet and you still notice that you aren’t getting enough Vitamin B to combat your depression, plenty of safe and effective supplements contain Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B3.
Best Vitamins for Depression: Vitamin D
It’s called the “sunshine vitamin” because the greatest source of Vitamin D is the sun. Many people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) will tell you that sunshine does make a big difference in mood imbalances and depression. You might not think about a Vitamin D deficiency as being responsible for your depression, but it can certainly play a part. Increasing the amount of Vitamin D your body gets can go a long way towards treatment, which makes it one of the best vitamins for depression. Psychologists have agreed that increasing the amount of Vitamin D can both prevent and treat people who suffer from depression. Not everyone can get unlimited amounts of sunlight, so look for Vitamin D in other places. You can get it by increasing the amount of milk and dairy you eat. Sardines and eggs are also great sources of this power-packed vitamin. When it’s more convenient and easier on your digestive system to pop a supplement, look for one that’s high in Vitamin D. You can also supplement your diet with cod liver oil, which is another great source for this vitamin.
Best Vitamins for Depression: Omega-3 Acids
Your brain’s chemistry is at the mercy of its nerve signals transmitting correctly. When this doesn’t happen, your propensity for depression is greatly increased. Omega-3 acids keep your brain healthy and functioning, protecting you against things such as depression. These acids, often found in cold water fish and fish oils, contain some of the best vitamins for depression because they go immediately to the source: your brain. The University of Maryland has confirmed that omega-3 acids, or fatty acids, are useful in protecting people against a number of health issues, including mood swings and depression. Eat more fish if you want to be sure to keep your brain healthy and if you’re not a fan of cooking up things with fins, take a supplement that includes something such as fish oil.
These are some of the best vitamins for depression because they treat the illness at its source — the brain. When you increase the amount of these vitamins that you ingest, you’re giving yourself a fighting chance to avoid the terrible disease of depression. If you already suffer from depression and you’re not thrilled with the idea of powerful drugs, these vitamins can help you roll it back.