How Superfoods Can Help You Combat Seasonal Depression
Lets unpack this together shall we? According to a recent study from StatsCan, roughly 1 in 10 people between the ages of 15 and 24 experience depression. Considering this within today’s society, we would like to share some solutions to assist those in need.
As most of us know, “seasonal depression” can weigh heavily on those who are susceptible. Now that the winter season is upon us, there are some things you should know that can help you or your loved ones combat this illness. In today’s blog, we will cover some of the fundamentals of how depression works, and how superfoods can help you combat depression. So let’s get started.
What is depression?
Depression is unfortunately a common mental illness which negatively affects the mind and body. The overall cause of it can stem from a few different areas depending on your internal biology and your external environment.
Symptoms of depression include, but are not limited to:
- Lack of interest in daily life and relations
- Feeling sad/withdrawn/overwhelmed
- Abnormal appetite (not eating enough or eating too much)
- Thoughts of death/suicide
- Feeling worthless
- Loss of energy or increased
In order to be diagnosed under the eyes of a licensed psychologist, these symptoms must persist for more than two weeks.
The overall causes of depression range from neurochemical imbalances, poor gut health, genetics, external environment, stress, ones personality, unprocessed emotions & traumas. Your neurochemistry is affected by your entire body and your life experience. However, this is also something that isn’t always within our control. Same goes with genetics; you may be more susceptible to depression based on your heritage. Your external environment involves where you live, what’s happening around you, and how the people around you affect you. Lastly, your personality may create room for depression to develop. This could involve low self-esteem, stress, and pessimism.
Keep in mind, if this applies to you, you should seek professional help as soon as you can. The results of undiagnosed or neglected depression can lead to some very serious health concerns. In the worst cases, death.
However, we can provide you with some valuable insights and show you some of the wonderful superfoods that can be used to help you in creating balance. So before we start tying superfoods and depression together, let’s also discuss what exactly superfoods are!
What are superfoods?
Superfood is the type of food that fly’s around saving damsels in distress, protecting the world from the forces of evil! Ok well, maybe not that super, but they do help many people become healthier and happier. So you could almost say they are like superheroes, they just don’t get movies made about them in the Marvel Universe.
Superfoods are foods that have extraordinary properties, making them stand out from the rest. They contain high levels of beneficial nutrients in comparison to other foods are considered superfoods. These foods contain things like antioxidants, good bacteria (for gut health), Beta-D Glucans, Adaptogenic properties, high does of vital vitamins, and minerals. In most cases superfoods are plant and fungi based, however, you can find some dairy and seafood labeled as superfood as well.
Some examples of superfoods include:
- Mushrooms (Reishi, Chaga, Lions Mane, Cordyceps, etc.)
- Berries (Goji, Acai, Blueberries)
- Schizandra Berry
- Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens)
- Dark Chocolate (Raw Cacao)
- Organic Red Wine
These are only a slice of what is out there. Since superfoods aren’t technically their own food group, there is no scientific way to classify foods as superfoods or not. However, anything considered to be rich in vital nutrients for a healthy mind, body, and soul can be considered superfoods.
Benefits of these various foods include boosted immunity, elevated cognitive functions, increased energy, appropriate stress response, reduced inflammation, adaptability and so much more! Considering these are all things we need to maintain a nourishing, healthy lifestyle. There’s no wonder why everyone is becoming so aware of superfoods and adding them into their daily regimen.
Ok, so how do superfoods combat depression?
Well as you know now, depression is linked to a few different variables. Luckily, most of them are within our control. A change in our habits, diets, and sleeping schedules can help assist in breaking the cycle of seasonal depression.
Your mind, body, and soul all work like an interwoven web of variables. So keep in mind, in order to properly manage depression, you must act in multiple areas of your life to elevate yourself out of it.
For today’s focus, let’s touch on dieting since we have a plethora of incredible superfoods to help elevate your health and combat depression. Your diet is extremely important when it comes to your mental health. “You are what you eat” as they say.
First of all, the brain uses an immense amount of energy and requires a lot of nutrients to function optimally, so having good nutrition is a must. Try adding more healthy fats, like Raw coconut oil, avocado, salmon or Raw Cacao. Also part of optimal brain function is getting out of the “fight or flight” stress response. This we refer to as having appropriate response, meaning you can more consciously respond vs react to things out of ones control. To help manage cortisol levels, reduce stress, boost creativity and be able to respond to events in your life the way you desire can be done by adding in ADAPTOGENS.
Adaptogens reduce levels of stress by regulating cortisol levels. Adaptogens can literally turn on your “good genes” so that you are more adaptable to life and don’t have to fall victim to your ancestral illnesses. This allows the body to express its higher functioning genial codes. When we aren’t burden by stress cognitive health improves, the immune system improves & that potentially can become a bridge for you to be more connected in your life, feel more creative, nourished, motivated and even inspired.
Another major element and area to focus is on ones gut health. The brain and the gut mirror one another and are deeply connected. The brain and gut are in constant communication with one another through chemical messengers, neurotransmitters, the vagus nerve and more. Ones gut microbiome needs to be diverse in good bacteria. The gut has neurotransmitters just like the brain & actually releases large quantity of bodies serotonin & dopamine.
Medicinal Mushrooms are one of the top gut foods available on the planet. These special superfoods support the gut by feeding the bacteria with their long chain polysaccharides, containing high amounts of vitamin D, digestive enzymes, Beta- D glucans and more. The polysaccharides and triterpene compounds in both Reishi and Lions Mane Mushroom offer some pretty significant neuroprotective effects. For example, the polysaccharides have shown the ability to improve cognitive functions because they stimulate NGF (nerve growth factor). These great mushrooms have even been shown to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
A few top superfoods and brain tonics that we supply and suggest are: Raw Cacao, Lions Mane, Raw Coconut oil, Reishi, Shatavari (in our Lunaverse blend), Beet root (in Lunaverse), Eleuthero/Ginseng (in our Mojo blend ), Macuna (in our Mojo blend), Maca (in several of our products), Ashwanganda (in Mojo and Lunaverse) & Organic Coffee (in our Brew Babe blend).
To wrap this all up
There is no magical cure for depression. You’re going to have to really honour your authentic self and see what it is for you. Remember to consider all sides – unconscious beliefs, blocked emotions, stress, learnt habits, diet, relationships, lifestyle, etc. We recommend expanding your focus to your entire way of life since everything works in tandem to give you the experiences you are having every day.
Using superfoods such as the ones we have listed above will give your body the right fuel to start becoming happier and healthier. Supplement with these, add the right exercise, spend time with supportive loving people, try something new, get some more sleep and hopefully you will see some results.
Depression is a serious illness, so be sure to additionally consult with a professional. They can provide you with valuable insights tailored to your personal circumstances, and give you the resources you need to tackle every angle of depression. Moreover, we are happy to help in this journey by feeding your body with the right foods!
Talk to us today to learn more about what’s available through our products and coaching services so you can not only create but maintain a well rounded lifestyle based on sustainable self-care. Our aim is to empower you so you to be able to be an active co-creator in your reality, living life by design more than a depressed state of default.
With love & gratitude, thank you.