3 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

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Filed Under: Diabetes, Mood & Memory, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 03/07/2014

3 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

Researchers from the University of Southampton recently evaluated 22 studies and three previous reviews that examined the link between antidepressants and risk factors for type 2 diabetes. They concluded that, for the most part, people who take these drugs are at an increased risk of developing the disease.

In their review, which was published in the journal Diabetes Care, the researchers reported that the reasons for this aren’t completely clear. One possible explanation is that antidepressants often lead to weight gain, which is a  risk factor of type 2 diabetes in and of itself.

However, as lead examiner Dr. Katherine Barnard stated, “Our research shows that when you take away all the classic risk factors of type 2 diabetes—weight gain, lifestyle, etc.—there is something about antidepressants that appears to be an independent risk factor.”

This latest research is just one more reason I strongly encourage you to steer clear of these despicable drugs. Instead, try the following safe, natural alternatives to antidepressants that have been shown to help lift mood and promote calmness—without endangering your health and well-being.

3 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

  1. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods. Research suggests that inflammation plays a role in mood disorders, particularly depression. Foods that quell inflammation include fatty fish like salmon and sardines; fruits and vegetables; and other natural, unprocessed foods. Phytonutrient-rich dark chocolate and berries, especially blueberries, and spices such as turmeric (curcumin) and ginger are also recommended.

  2. Exercise. When you’re feeling down, the last thing you may feel like doing is getting out and taking a walk. Do it anyway! Exercise is nature’s most powerful mood enhancer—and its effects are enduring. Research continues to show that exercise substantially improves people’s ability to handle the stresses and anxieties of daily life.

  3. Take supplements. The foundation of my protocol for treating depression and anxiety is a good daily multivitamin.

To that, I recommend adding extra vitamin B12 (2,000 mcg) and vitamin D (2,000–5,000 IU),since deficiencies in these vitamins are associated with depression and anxiety; additional magnesium (200–400 mg) at bedtime for physical and mental relaxation; and omega-3 essential fatty acids (4–10 g of fish oil) for their anti-inflammatory and brain-nurturing effects.

For a natural alternative to antidepressants, I also recommend S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e; 200–400 mg twice a day). A 2012 Harvard study found SAM-e to be effective, well tolerated, and fast—working in most cases within days, rather the weeks required for many therapies.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have a natural alternative to antidepressants that you’d like to share?

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