Did you know that one in 6 females will experience depression in their lifetime? Right now, one in 14 Australian females is suffering from depression. You may find this number shocking, but then again, maybe not? Perhaps you know someone with depression or are experiencing the symptoms yourself?
People have described depression as ‘a thick fog’ or ‘being stuck in the depths of an ocean’. Having experienced depression myself, I associate it with feeling like a deflated balloon: too tired and limp to face life and its many obstacles.
There are many different causes for depression, including experiencing a life crisis, major stressors, life transitions or childhood trauma.
Then there are also biological causes that I would like to highlight in this post.
Numerous studies have found a direct link between depression and low levels of folate and vitamin B12.
For example, studies in Hong Kong and Taiwan populations showed that people who follow traditional Chinese diets rich in folate do experience depression. However, they have fewer lifetime rates of major depression.
It was also found that people respond better to antidepressants when their folate levels are within a normal range.
Folate and B12 are essential for children and women of all ages, especially pregnant women. One study showed that pregnant women with slightly low-normal Vitamin B12 levels were 3.82 times more likely to experience depression.
There is no doubt that vitamin B12 and folate is good for treating depression.
So, how can you naturally increase your B12 and folate levels to alleviate symptoms of depression?
Depending on your dietary preferences, try to include more of the following foods in your diet:
- Beef, liver, and chicken
- Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams
- Dairy products including milk, yogurt and cheese
- Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Brussel Sprouts
- Nuts and seeds
- Beef liver
- Fortified grains
Alternatively, your doctor might recommend you also take a vitamin B12 or folate supplement. So, if you are ready to overcome symptoms of depression and regain a sense of fun, light and freedom, be sure to book an appointment with your doctor today.
Depression can be treated, and the best place to start is by checking your folate and vitamin B12 levels.