One of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of depression is through nutrition.
The following are depression-fighting nutrients that can be obtained through a proper diet and/or supplementation (with medical supervision) by Dr. Pauline Jose.
LA-based Dr. Pauline Jose, the Medical Director at Proactive Health Labs, is a specialist in family medicine, and a clinical instructor at UCLA, Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Jose is an expert in making complex health and health-related topics easy-to-understand and easy for your audience to apply to their daily lives.
Here’s a list of important nutrients your mind needs to thrive:
The following explains benefits, as well as what foods you can find them in. Make sure you’re not deficient in any and stay hydrated with water.
Magnesium: Several studies have shown an improvement in the severity of symptoms of depression when study participants were given 125-300 mg of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime. Foods containing magnesium include spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, kefir, almonds, black beans, avocado, figs, dark chocolate and bananas.
Chromium: Many studies have been done to assess the benefit of chromium picolinate in depression. One study showed that 70 percent of those who took 600 mcg of chromium picolinate had improvement in their depressive symptoms, including emotional stability. Foods high in chromium include broccoli, free range eggs, sweet potatoes, corn, oats and grass-fed beef.
Iron: Decreased levels of iron can result in apathy, depression, and fatigue. Iron is also important for oxygenation of the brain and necessary for all its functions. Iron-rich foods include red meat, pork, poultry, seafoods, beans, spinach (and other leafy greens), peas, cherimoyas, and iron-fortified cereals.
Selenium: Depression due to selenium deficiency has been established in at least five different studies. Depression may be the result of oxidative stress, which is why selenium may be helpful. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. Overall, mood was also improved when selenium was given to those with depleted levels. Foods high in selenium include Brazil nuts, yellowfin tuna, halibut, sardines, and chicken.
Zinc: This trace element is essential to the human body. It is involved in over 300 reactions in the body and is abundant in the brain. Zinc supplementation along with antidepressant therapy has been studied and has shown benefits. You can eat lamb, pumpkin seeds, grass fed beef, mushrooms, chickpeas, spinach, and chicken to get more zinc in your daily diet.
Copper: This mineral is important in depression because it is a component of the enzymes that metabolize the brain chemicals that help you respond to stress, feel happy and be alert. These enzymes, and the associated chemicals, are responsible for the causes and treatment of anxiety and depression. Copper rich foods include sunflower seeds, lentils, almonds, dark chocolate, beef liver and asparagus.
B Vitamins: Deficiencies in various vitamins, including B vitamins are reported to have a negative effect on the brain. There are a total of eight B vitamins. There is a wide range of foods containing B vitamins. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you have to be especially proactive about making sure you get enough B12 (which is mainly found in animal foods).
Vitamin C: Various studies have suggested that depression may be a consequence of inadequate levels of vitamin C. It can usually be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables such as oranges, watermelon, green and red peppers, grapefruit, tomatoes, spinach, papaya, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
Being nutritionally balanced puts our bodies in the best position to manage or beat depression. And when you consider being physically active is another way to combat depression, being nutritionally sound enhances our ability to be physically active.
Be sure to move daily too. The benefits of daily exercise are exceptionally preventative and help elevate your mood naturally. Start with 15-minutes of brisk walking and increase it daily, while incorporating deep breathing. Use music to help pass the time. Your brain and body will benefit.
While apps are not a replacement for talking to someone in person or Tele-Therapy, where you can talk to someone on-line, they can be of help if you don’t have access to anyone.
Scroll through the list to find one you’re comfortable with as cost could add stress to what may already be a financially stressful situation.
Older people have isolation to thank for mental health issues, including suicide, which begs a big question about what was done to the elderly by so-called health experts.
For younger people, experimenting with drugs is a factor in suicides. Don’t confuse legality of a drug with it not having side effects.
Good mental health equals no drugs. None.
Read that again.
Many people will try to convince you otherwise, and they will charge you a fee too. Lots of charlatans out there.
One clue is to look at what someone was focused on 5 to 10 years before something was popular. Scammers jump on bandwagons –beware.
Do not get your health advice from the following:
People who equate taking off clothes with body confidence.
People who equate obesity with body positivity.
People who lose a lot of weight fast and are now “experts”..
People who weren’t in the health/wellness space pre-Covid.
People who think being a doctor or PhD means they themselves are healthy, are never wrong, can not be questioned and do not have a history of taking bribes or making mistakes that actually kill hundreds of thousands of people each year
People who use certain Buzz Words in their health startups.
Designed to help those stay safe while having thoughts of suicide, MY3 is free and lets you customize your own personal safety plan by noting your warning signs, listing coping strategies, and connecting you to helpful resources to reach out to when you need them most. At your fingertips is a button that puts you in direct contact (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) with a trained counselor from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as well as a 911 alert. Additionally, you can choose three people to contact in the event you’re having thoughts of suicide. (Free; iOS and Android)
notOK is a free app developed by a struggling teenager (and her teen brother) for teenagers. The app features a large, red button that can be activated to let close friends, family and their support network know help is needed. Users can add up to five trusted contacts as part of their support group so when they hit the digital panic button, a message along with their current GPS location is sent to their contacts. The message reads: “Hey, I’m not OK! Please call, text, or come find me.” (Free; iOS and Android)
General Mental Health Apps
What’s up is a free app that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and more. Use the positive and negative habit tracker to maintain your good habits, and break those that are counterproductive. We particularly love the “Get Grounded” page, which contains over 100 different questions to pinpoint what you’re feeling, and the “Thinking Patterns” page, which teaches you how to stop negative internal monologues. Try it out for yourself. (Free; iOS and Android)
While apps are not a replacement for in-person help, they can provide people suffering with recovery resources at the palm of their hands to help track sobriety, monitor triggering behaviors, and give instant access to support. If you are experiencing an addiction and need help, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Based on the best-selling book of the same name, Twenty-Four Hours a Day offers 366 meditations from the book, making it easier for people in recovery from addiction to focus on sobriety wherever they are. (Free iOSand Android)
Quit That! – Habit Tracker
Quit That! is a completely free app that helps users beat their habits or addictions. Whether you’re looking to stop drinking alcohol, quit smoking, or stop taking drugs, it’s the perfect recovery tool to track and monitor your progress. Track as many vices as you want and find out how many minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years it’s been since you quit. (Free; iOS)
Those with chronic anxiety know the feeling: The angst is always there—lurking around like a stage-five clinger. It’s the kind of condition that, for the 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older who have an anxiety disorder, can be all-consuming when left to its own devices. But anxiety can also be manageable once you learn how to work through all that worry. Seeking help from a mental health professional is the best way to manage anxiety, but, the following apps are great tools to use along the way—like reminding you to focus on your breathing to get out of a vicious thought cycle.
MindShift is one of the best mental health apps designed specifically for teens and young adults with anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxious feelings, Mind Shift stresses the importance of changing how you think about anxiety. Think of this app as the cheerleader in your pocket, encouraging you to take charge of your life, ride out intense emotions, and face challenging situations. (Free; iOS and Android)
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM)
SAM might be perfect for you if you’re interested in self-help, but meditation isn’t your thing. Users are prompted to build their own 24-hour anxiety toolkit that allows you to track anxious thoughts and behavior over time, and learn 25 different self-help techniques. You can also use SAM’s “Social Cloud” feature to confidentially connect with other users in an online community for additional support. (Free; iOS and Android)
CBT Thought Record Diary
The centerpiece of cognitive-behavioral therapy is changing your emotions by identifying negative and distorted thinking patterns. You can use CBT Thought Record Diary to document negative emotions, analyze flaws in your thinking, and reevaluate your thoughts. This is a great app for gradually changing your approach to anxiety-inducing situations and your thinking patterns for future situations. (Free; iOS and Android)
Bipolar Disorder Apps
Just like its name suggests, bipolar disorder is characterized by polar opposite mood swings that go from extreme highs to the lowest of lows. It’s a largely genetic condition that affects up to 5.7 million adults. While bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition that requires medication and psychotherapy, along with those treatments, apps can be a useful tool to help those with the condition understand and track their moods, identify triggers, and get a handle on the severity of their symptoms. For more help and information about the condition, contact the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), which offers online and in-person support groups, or the International Bipolar Association Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
eMoods is a mood tracking app designed specifically for people with bipolar disorder. Throughout the day, users can track depressive and psychotic symptoms, elevated mood, and irritability and give an indication of the severity of their symptoms. Users can then see their mood changes on a color-coded monthly calendar and even export a monthly summary report to identify specific triggers and better understand their fluctuating mood. (Free; iOS and Android)
If you have depression, life can seem like a giant pit of quicksand that’s constantly pulling you under with no way out. Let’s just say, it’s a heavy state of being. And it’s also one of the most common mental health conditions, affecting about 350 million people. If left alone, depression can continue to linger and linger, taking a toll on your quality of life. But there is a bright side: It’s treatable. Seeking help from a mental health professional is the first step. And for those in therapy, there are also some good apps that can do everything from helping to boost your mood to connecting you with a trained professional who can offer virtual counseling. If you are struggling or in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Need a happy fix? With its psychologist-approved mood-training program, the Happify app is your fast-track to a good mood. Try various engaging games, activity suggestions, gratitude prompts and more to train your brain as if it were a muscle, to overcome negative thoughts. The best part? Its free! (Free; iOS and Android)
MoodTools aims to support people with clinical depression by aiding the path to recovery. Discover helpful videos that can improve your mood and behavior, log and analyze your thoughts using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) principles, develop a suicide safety plan and more with this free app. (Free; iOS and Android)
Eating Disorder Apps
Thinking about food, weight, and body image is a constant battle for the millions of Americans with an eating disorder. In fact, it can consume so much of their waking hours that it often gets in the way of daily functioning. For referrals to treatment options, general concerns, or support, call the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Helpline at 630-577-1330. And while you’re recovering, the below apps can help foster a better body image and encourage a healthier relationship with food.
Recovery Record is a great app for anyone recovering from an eating disorder and wanting to develop a more positive body image. Keep a record of the meals you eat and how they make you feel using the app and complete questionnaires that’ll help you track your progress over time. One user calls Recovery Record a “remarkable recovery tool”; “It helps me stick to my meal plan, provides an outlet to vent about my food concerns and helps me stay intact with my body to work with it rather than against.” (Free; iOS and Android)
Rise Up and Recover
Rise Up + Recover is a unique app as it not only allows you to track your meals and how you feel when you eat them, but you can also transcribe your progress into a PDF printout. Pull up the Rise + Recover app on your mobile when you feel the urge to binge or skip a meal, and need quick coping strategies. (Free; iOS and Android)
Unlike the other apps featured in this list, Lifesum is a broader resource for all things healthy living. The app allows you to set personal goals, from eating healthier, to building more muscle and getting in more steps each day. You can also enter your own personal data and let Lifesum generate a “Life Score” to get a personalized roadmap to better health. With reminders to drink water and eat regularly throughout the day, Lifesum is a great option for anyone trying to live healthier, but for people with eating disorders, this app can be used to help you redefine how you think about healthy body image. (Free; iOS and Android)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Apps
Who hasn’t left the house only to turn right back again because you’re worried you left the iron or the stove or the curling iron on? We’re all guilty as charged. But for someone tormented by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), that same worry can persist all day—even after they’ve gone home to turn off their appliances. OCD, experienced by 2.2 million adults, is characterized by repetitive, unstoppable, intrusive, or obsessive thoughts and irrational urges (compulsions) to do repetitive acts to relieve the anxiety of the obsessions. The obsessions and compulsions can vary greatly. But, with a first-line treatment plan of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and/ or medication, OCD can be effectively managed. To ease the angst on the regular, the following apps identify triggers, help to navigate a bout of OCD when it strikes and provide easy ways to turn around negative thoughts.
nOCD was designed with the help of OCD specialists and patients to incorporate two treatments: mindfulness and Exposure Response Prevention Treatment. You can receive immediate, clinically-supported guidance when an OCD episode strikes, take weekly tests to assess the severity of your OCD, and have motivational support along the way. One user calls nOCD “a free therapist in your pocket!” (Free; iOS)
GG OCD aims to improve OCD symptoms by increasing the user’s awareness of negative thoughts and training the brain to push those aside to embrace a more positive outset. The app takes the users through various levels, each consisting of short games around a specific theme. From how to automatically replace negative self-talk with positive thoughts, to belief in change, building self-esteem and more, this app takes its user on a journey towards a healthier thinking pattern. (Free; iOS and Android)
Created by the VA’s National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), PTSD Coach offers everything from a self-assessment for PTSD, to opportunities to find support, positive self-talk, and anger management. What’s great about this app is that you can customize tools based on your own individual needs and preferences, and integrate your own contacts, photos, and music.4 (Free; iOS and Android)
Sometimes you just need to breathe and remind yourself you are okay. Breathe2Relax is made for just that. Created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, this app is a portable stress management tool that teaches users a skill called diaphragmatic breathing. Breathe2Relax works by decreasing the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response, making it a great option for people suffering from PTSD. (Free; iOS and Android)
Remember, don’t label yourself or allow anyone else to label you with mental “illness” when you may simply be suffering from burnout, tiredness or lack of time to take care of yourself properly.
All emotions are also natural.
Sadness and grief are as natural as feeling happiness and joy.
All emotions are like waves. The bigger the wave, the deeper you should breathe.
Remember, everyone has bad days. When you do have one, review the list below and find out if something on the list contributed to it.
If yes, change it.
The difference between healthy and unhealthy is the first puts a limit on the junk food –the second makes it a daily habit.
Set aside one day or weekends to indulge.
The more you indulge, the more addictive it will become. Yes, junk food will become an addiction you will need to quit cold turkey or seek help.
Stress + Inflammation = Chronic Disease
Sugar causes inflammation.
Sugar addiction can and will kill you.
When they handed out free donuts with that which can’t be said –it says a lot.
Take care of your mental health daily by:
Get 9 hours of sleep each night. Turn off electronics and dim lights at least two hours before bedtime. This means no phone. It’s so hard to do, but good sleep is critical.
Avoid sugar and highly processed foods. What you eat affects how you feel.
Select healthier snacks like almonds with sea salt, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, carrots, tangerines, popcorn, wraps with black beans and melted cheese. Be creative. Prepare bowls of veggies cooked in olive oil with garlic and place in refrigerator for reheating when hungry for snacks. See my prior blog on late-night snacks that help you sleep.
Hydrate throughout the day with water. Get rid of everything else. What you drink affects how you feel.
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. When you feel stressed or anxious take a 15 minute walk break.
If you can get outside in nature, even better. Nature and exercise are both scientifically proven to improve mental health.
If your mind races or you feel scattered, there’s nothing better you can do to calm your mind. The key is to fully be in the moment and focus on breathing and your surroundings.
Your brain takes in a tremendous amount of information each day. It needs a release. Exercise clears the slate.
Your body gets to benefit too and you release natural feel-good hormones you need to feel good.
Walking counts. Bonus: No harmful side effects.
Limit the amount of negative news you either watch on TV or read on social media.
Replace with a good book or great movie. Comedies are a great choice.
Call a friend. Watch at the same time. Then, compare what you thought.
Listen to uplifting music.
Make a list of every little thing you are grateful for each day. You can breathe, walk, read –things that seem trivial but if taken away would make you realize how blessed you are.
Remind yourself there is no one else in the world exactly like you. No one. You’re special and unique.
Be compassionate and forgiving with your own flaws and mistakes, as you would be with a best friend. Think of all your mistakes as lessons.
Ask yourself what you learned from them and how much wiser you will be next time.
Wisdom comes from experience.
Remind yourself you can’t control what other people do or say, but you can control 1) how you react to them and b) how you yourself behave.
It’s better to respond than react.
That means remembering to count to 10 and breathe or taking a time out as needed. If someone else is yelling, let them. It’s about them, not you.
Give yourself a treat day each week when you can indulge in favorites, ie. pizza, ice cream or whatever. Celebrate.
13. Do something nice for someone. Open a door. Lend a helping hand. Ask if someone needs anything. Offer a sincere compliment. Make someone laugh. Refer a good movie or book. Refer someone for a job. Forward job openings that may be of interest to someone you know. Teach someone a skill. Surprise someone with a handwritten note, card or a little gift. Be sincere in all you do. Or simply smile. It’s wonderful being around nice people. BE one.
Everything will be OK.
If you have a comment you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTHY WORK SCHEDULES by Maria Dorfner
The current 9 to 5 work mentality doesn’t equate to being healthy. At. All.
There’s simply no time.
Most people commute an hour or longer, so that’s 2 hours roundtrip, work 8 hours with a 1 hour lunch, so that’s 10 hours. If you’re getting the recommended 9 hours sleep, you have 5 hours left. 1 for exercise. 1 for dinner. 3 to unwind, do laundry, shop, shower.
It equals STRESS.
Stress causes INFLAMMATION in your brain and body.
The people who profit from sickness in the Sickcare System know this.
In fact, even Physicians are suffering from it. How can they be expected to care for others when their own Health isn’t made a priority?
So when I discuss Healthy Workplaces, hospitals are included.
I will never forget walking inside the Cleveland Clinic with the Chairman and Chief Cardiothoracic Surgeon when I glanced to my right to see physicians lined up for lunch at McDonald’s INSIDE the hospital. I gasped and sarcastically said, “You have to be kidding me.” The CCS matter-of-factly said, “I know. I’ve been trying to get rid of it for ten years.” Imagine that. The #1 heart center in the world was serving up heart disease for lunch. They got rid of it. ____________________________
I walk into CBS and notice a difference. The back wall is a HUGE advertisement to all CBS employees for Weight Watchers.
They have processed food and aren’t the best choice for Health, so I wonder what the heck and how did that Ad get there, but then I remember Gayle King joined CBS This Morning as co-host.
She is Oprah’s Best Friend and Oprah serves on the Board of (Drum roll, please…) Weight Watchers.
So, Gayle got all of CBS to sign-on ALL employees for Weight Watchers.
HEALTHY WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE:
If companies remain open in the future, if they want to maximize productivity and maintain a healthy, balanced workforce they need to create 3 hour schedules for people.
That’s right. 3 hours of productivity a day.
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
If it’s a 24/7 shop, keep it going 6-9 p.m. 9 to midnight, midnight to 3 a.m., 3 to 6 a.m. and 6-9a.m.
People know when they are MOST productive and can select which 3 hour block they will work that day.
I can assure you they will arrive with bells on and do their absolute BEST work in that
Do you pay them LESS than 8 hours? Absolutely NOT. They get paid for RESULTS and PRODUCTIVITY, not time.
If you want to see people wasting time and doing nothing visit people who work 9 to 5.
The 3-Hour Workday works on-site or remote.
SO many so-called health or wellness apps have ZERO to do with a person’s life and what will actually improve their health, wellness and longevity from a mental and physical standpoint.
Since the 3-hour workday doesn’t exist yet, but will figure out how to introduce a bill that would make it mandatory –do things you CAN do today to improve your tomorrow.
This health and wellness blog has been free to readers for over a decade.
It exists to help you live healthier lives and to get advice from someone who isn’t trying to 1. get rich from you getting or staying sick or 2. make money from teaching you what should be free to you
I’ve obsessively studied healthy living since I was a child.
Doctors make over 200,000 medical errors a year that have killed people.
Yet, they don’t want you to question what they are taught from academic institutions funded by pharmaceutical companies.
Doctors are in the business of Sickcare.
The good ones get educated, then self-educate and get out of the Matrix.
Note that when I say people are at Peak Mental Performance for 3 Hours daily, I’m talking about HEALTHY PEOPLE.
People who aren’t healthy and need to make some lifestyle changes (it’s never too late) to get healthy are probably looking at:
ONE HOUR of productivity a day.
Tim Ferris wrote a book about the 4 Hour work week –that’s a start for people who need even more time to start incorporating healthy habits into their life.
It’s a lifestyle. You won’t feel great every day. But you will have more good days.
When doctors are baffled by what’s causing fatigue, brain fog or any number of autoimmune disorders –it’s complete B-S.
They studied what causes inflammation in the body and the brain.
They knew if they could trigger that, they could trigger more chronic disease, and more of a need for their treatments.
They caused the first disease symptom in a human being and have been covering it up ever since.
It’s the Biggest Medical Coverup Ever. Both Republican and Democratic Presidents were | are in on it for 8 Administrations.
Whenever the government legalizes any pill, medication or treatment –know they plan to profit from your sickness, not your wellness.
Your mind does not need drugs to feel good.
The highest high in life comes from:
2. Daily exercise
3. Gratitude, and
4. Helping others
What if you don’t have that?
1. Give love
2. Start by walking 15 min. (increase it daily)
3. Be grateful to be alive
4. Silently bless each person you see and smile
Reach out to a friend or call one of those free numbers.
Anyone concerned about you will not charge you when you are in crisis mode.
Anyone trying to profit off of depression, anxiety, PTSD or suicide attempts are the ones that need to get their head examined.
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