Having a major depression is not the
In fact, Dr. Sherry Rogers, MD says that in 26 years, she has never seen a depressed patient with normal nutrient levels, not even one!
Common Symptoms of Depression
Some of the common symptoms of depression include severe sadness and feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, and insonmnia or oversleeping. In addition, many with depression are anxious, and either lose weight or perhaps have a greater appetite than they normally do, with accompanying weight gain. Others symptoms of depression include the inability to concentrate, excessive worry, and thoughts or even plans of suicide. If your symptoms include thoughts of suicide, make sure and contact your health professional or someone you trust right away!
Some depressions are set off by some life event, such as the death of a close loved one. Sometimes a prolongued period of stress can also cause depression, possibly by using up nutrients that are needed to make the “feel-good” neurotransmitters, like serotonin.
There seems to be a biochemical basis for many depressions, stemming from inherited tendencies and/or nutritional deficiencies. However, even if you have inherited a predisposition towards depression, certain foods and proper nutrition can help you to get or maintain good brain health.
Less Depressed with Whey
Some people have reported feeling less depressed when taking a high quality whey protein powder.* This is probably because whey protein contains many amino acids, which are the building blocks of not only protein, but protein-based neurotransmitters. There are several neurotransmitters used in the brain that are needed for feeling good. When these are low, depression and/or anxiety can result. One of these neurotransmitters is called serotonin, and serotonin is known to help with proper sleep and mood.
The Amino Acid Tryptophan is Needed to make Serotonin
In order to make serotonin, the body needs an amino acid called L-tryptophan, or typtophan. If you are deficient in this amino acid, it will be hard for your body to make enough serotonin to stay feeling good. Some amino acids can be manufactured by the body, but typtophan is one of the “essential” amino acids that needs to be consumed.
If you are suffering from depression, it is possible that you don’t have enough tryptophan to make enough serotonin. Or possibly, you are consuming enough, but poor digestion makes it difficult for your body to break the amino acids down. Especially in this case, Whey Protein Powder can be a good choice, as the amino acids in the whey are in an easily absorbable form.
Whey & Fatigue
Many have reported that whey protein helps them with fatigue issues as well, which can be useful in cases of depression, as fatigue usually comes along with the depression.
Other Food Sources of Tryptophan
In addition to being in whey protein, tryptophan is high in many types of meats, including turkey and chicken, and also seafoods like crab, halibut, shrimp, lobster and cod. It is also found, although in smaller quantities, in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, and also in eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes. It seems to be better absorbed when eaten along with some carbohydrates. Vegetable sources include spinach, watercress, turnip greens, kelp and seaweed like spirulina. Fruit sources include dates, mangos and bananas.
A great tryptophan-boosting meal would be a Whey Protein Smoothie like the following:
Tropical Whey Boost
If it’s not sweet enough for you, or you need something else to cover up the taste of the greens, add a couple dates. Just whir up in the blender until mixed and serve immediately.
** Note: We highly recommend Action Whey and Emerald Sea, but any high quality, similar item can be substituted. But don’t leave out the whey, or the sea vegetables, they are key ingredients! The whey helps to provide the building blocks to make the neurotransmitters, and the sea vegetables are powerhouses of nutrition, providing 10-20 times the amount of micronutrients compared to land vegetables!
Some key nutrients that can support a healthy mood include*:
For more information on Depression and Nutritional Supplements try the depression page on our sister website: Healthy Vitamins Rx
Eat Enough Protein
Like we talked about in the section above on whey protein, getting enough protein is important if you suffer from depression, as some of the amino acids help your body to manufacture neurotransmitters like serotonin, that in turn help you to feel good. If you think you get enough protein, but have poor digestion, you may need some enzymes or hydrochloric acid (Hcl) to help your body digest the protein.
Eat More Whole Foods
In addition, eating whole foods and cutting back on junk foods will help you to get rid of artificial ingredients that can can cause depression (including aspartame and MSG), and also help you to eat more of the vitamins and minerals that can help you to feel better. So try to eat packaged foods as little as possible, and cook real foods from scratch. Egg yolks and legumes are a good source of lecithin. We recommend trying to find eggs from pastured chickens.
Fish and Marine Oils for Omega-3’s
Fish that contain lots of fat like sardines and salmon, as well as fish oil, cod liver oil, or Moxxor, can give you the omega 3 fatty acids you need for good brain health.
Exercise and Sunshine
Getting exercise and getting outside in the sunshine can be helpful, especially in cases of mild to moderate depression.* The sun can help your body to produce more vitamin D, which studies have shown to be helpful in many cases of depression. In most parts of America, though, you need to get outside without sunscreen, during the middle of the day, from mid April to mid September, in order to make good quanities of vitamin D. The rest of the year, the sun is just not strong enough unless you live in the deep south.
Drink Filtered Water
Also, some studies have shown that neurotransmitter imbalances can result from drinking treated water, so you might want to drink either bottled water or get a good water filtration system for your home. Don't forget that during an average length shower, you absorb and breathe in more chemicals than from drinking a gallon of that water, so a good shower filter is also indispensable.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Many have found use in talking with a therapist, especially if their depression seems to have more emotional causes, but even in this case, nutritional supplementation can be of great benefit! Cognitive behavioral therapy has shown greater benefits for most compared to other types of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an action-oriented type of therapy that focuses on changing your thought patterns to more positive / useful ones. This in turn can positively affect your emotional state.
Undenatured Whey Protein Powder
If you decide to try a whey protein powder, make sure you find a good brand that is not denatured. If the amino acids are denatured, your body will not be able to put the tryptophan to good use. This means it will not be very effective in helping your body manufacture more serotonin and other brain neurotransmitters. For a high quality, undenatured whey, we highly recommend Action Whey for your whey protein powder use. It tastes great too!
* This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Healthy Whey Protein
FDA Disclaimer: None of the statements on this website have been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. Furthermore, none of the statements on this website should be construed as making claims about curing diseases or dispensing medical advice. Please consult a physician or another health care provider before trying any nutritional supplement, making changes in your diet, or doing new exercises, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries.
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