Depression is one of the most prevalent diseases of the modern world. And it’s not just all of the terrible things we see in the news, anything can seem awful and make life seem worthless when you have a depressive state of mind.
Fortunately, here are 3 supplements that will help your brain turn things around:
Yes, the sun’s own Vitamin D is known to stop depression and those terrible depressive states of mind. Rather, I should say a lack of Vitamin D will lead to depressive states. Many people get the “winter blues” simply because they aren’t getting enough sun exposure, and in case you live in a place where hours of sunlight are low, like the northernmost or southernmost parts of the world and places with cloudy weather, you’ll want to get as much Vitamin D as you can. In that case, where else can you get your nutrients?
Aside from the sun, try:
- Fresh liver
- Egg yolks
- Fish (Salmon and tuna, among others)
For supplements of Vitamin D, you’ll want to go specifically for Vitamin D3 simply because it is a form of vitamin D that is used most readily by the body.
You can get a nice balance of D vitamins and other fat soluble vitamins with Green Pastures Cod Liver/Butter Oil Blend (which as a bonus has Omega-3’s) and you can also check out these 5000 IU Vitamin D3 capsules if you’re not into eating cod liver.
Fun fact: Vitamin D is actually a hormone, and it’s based off of cholesterol. When you don’t get enough healthy cholesterol from fatty foods like egg yolks and beef liver, you shortchange your body on its ability to make vitamin D. Don’t worry, it’s not gonna make you get fat or get heart disease. Eat your steak and eggs.
DOSAGE: Try to get ~1000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. Take more if your diet sucks. When my diet sucks, I take the 5000 IU capsules, because they’re cheap and get the job done.
The FDA recommends 200-600 IU for children and adults, but this is a ridiculously low amount just to avoid “overdose.” If you’re concerned about overdose, go get some blood work done and see how your vitamin D levels are.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Everyone and their dog loves Omega-3 fatty acids. The truth is, we don’t get enough Omega-3 in our modern industrial diet, so the best dietary sources for Omega-3 include flaxseeds, salmon and other sea fish, and butter from grass-fed cows. While a little more pricey, going for free-range and organic beef, chicken and eggs will significantly increase the Omega-3’s in your diet simply because eating animals who eat their natural diets puts that fatty acid ratio back into place.
The best supplemental sources of Omega-3, starting with the most ideal are:
- Cod liver oil
- Fish oil
- Flaxseed oil
Anything in capsules should only be used if you can’t afford anything better. Oil tends to get rancid over time, so the Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a great option that has a naturally-long shelf life as a result of its natural fermentation process.
If you’re a bad enough dude, you can eat beef brain and eyes for a huge boost in Omega-3’s, but I don’t see this diet catching on anytime soon.
Anyway, it makes sense as to why a lack of Omega-3’s and a lot of Omega-6 can lead to depression. Your brain and many parts of your body require Omega-3, and when you don’t get enough your body has to use inferior materials to fill the gap. Nothing is able to do its job as well, and things start wearing down like the under-maintained freeway system in a state whose budget is spent mostly on making poop smell like flowers.
DOSAGE: Shoot for 3 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids each day.
Theanine is in vogue as of late, and I’ve known of the benefits of theanine for some time as a cognitive enhancer, an anxiolytic and a natural anti-depressant. Theanine is an amino acid found in tea, and is found most abundantly in green and white tea leaves. A hot cuppa’ fresh green tea is going to get you about 10-20 mg of theanine, which is okay. I enjoy my green tea as much as the next dude, and it’s a mainstay of my daily routine, but drinking gallons of green tea to stop feeling like “Crawling In My Skin” is just terrible, even though drinking large amounts of green tea kicks my ass into gear.
Anyway, theanine has been known to help people with ADD, ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, and a whole host of other mental problems. It helps people get into a focused yet relaxed learning mode mainly because theanine increases serotonin levels and alpha brainwave activity.
So, fortunately, there are a bunch of ways to get your theanine on. There are plenty of capsules out there with either 50 or 100 mg of theanine, but look for the ones that contain Suntheanine because they check their theanine for quality. Go for the cheapest brand with Suntheanine. This Jarrow Formulas bottle is the cheapest one I’ve found. If you can find a good bulk source, get the powder.
DOSAGE: A recommended dose of theanine is 100-300 mg per day. Experiment and find out what works for you.