Nutrients to combat depression—naturally

DepressionFighting_LR450According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million American adults over 18 suffer from depression and are prescribed drugs for the condition.

This is an increase of 400 percent since 1998 (Journal of Clinical Psychology).

But the journal report notes, “why are so many drugs being prescribed,” when at least two-thirds of these patients do not display classic symptoms of major depressive disorder?

Down through the ages humans have always had to deal with upsets and disasters.

So now we are too weak to do it without drugs?

The reasons are many, says (, which analyzed the report. Chemical prescriptions are a big business to a drug-based healthcare culture such as the U.S. and many other western countries.

And patients and medical people are now conditioned to that culture, as most physicians are not schooled in nutrition and diet and too often just prescribe a drug.

But for many people (that two-thirds included), depression and anxiety can be relieved or cured by consuming appropriate nutrients missing in the junk food diet and the sedentary lifestyle so prevalent today.

Some vital nutrients to combat depression include calcium, chromium, folate, magnesium, iron, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins B6, B12 and D. Plus important amino acids that your body does not manufacture and must be consumed in your food.

As small examples, calcium working with vitamin D is instrumental in regulation mood fluctuations. Chromium helps metabolize food. A deficiency impedes the body’s ability to regulate insulin.

Folate (B9) works with B12 to treat depression. Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) deficiency is overwhelmingly associated with depression in both men and women.

Those and many other nutrients are necessary to keep the many complex neurotransmitters in your body operating at energetic coping speed, able to deal with grief, setbacks and emergencies that have always afflicted human beings.

Many Americans are depressed, obese and suffering from diabetes because they eat a diet of sugar, processed foods, cereals, chips, candy, fast food, TV dinners and on and on.

A shopping cart or fridge will tell the story of depression. There are far too few fresh vegetables and other nutritious whole food on the average American’s shopping list.

And that doesn’t even count the prescription drugs that inhibit the body’s absorption of nutrients and usually has side effects.

At the very least we can eat better food and get some exercise and sunshine. At the most, we can do our own research and learn about preventive natural health and supplemental nutrients that may give us the will and energy to combat depression and a defeatist attitude.