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WHAT does Ayurveda Say About Depression? – Put That Cheese Burger Down

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Depression has become so common that it has been aptly named the ‘common cold’ of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time.

Conventional medication and psychiatry treatments come with their own list of issues, including strong side effects that affect other areas of life. Moreover, these do not prevent recurrence of depression; they merely provide temporary relief as and when it occurs.

On the other hand, Ayurveda provides a natural and effective treatment for depression which also prevents reoccurrences to a large extent. Ayurveda mentions Depression as Vishada — most disease aggravating factor.

Although this disease is categorised under psychological diseases, it can also affect the body; hence, it can lead to any physical or psychological disorder.

An Ayurvedic Diagnosis

Depression usually indicates reduced Sattvik energy and aggravated Rajasik and Tamasik energies. Weekend ojas can also be the issue. An imbalance among the three doshas or being unaware of the inner self can also be common reasons.

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The majority of depressions are believed to be caused due to Kapha imbalance which eventually leads to imbalances in the other two elements of Vata and Pitta. The result — feelings of negativity and hopelessness are generated which causes abnormal functioning of the nervous system, resulting in depression.

Ayurveda advises therapies, lifestyle adjustments and herbal preparations that clear and strengthens the mind allowing us to cope with life’s challenges more effectively and also bring positivity to our lives at all levels. Also Read: Can An Ayurvedic Jam Enhance Your Mental Health? I Found Out

Simple Ayurvedic Remedies To Quell Anxiety and Depression

It’s often noted that depression can be the result of poor lifestyle choices, improper food habits, addictions, lack of discipline in personal life and unsocial attitude.

  1. Wake up early and maintain a healthy sleep routine.
  2. Try to spend more time outdoors. Walks in nature and playing outdoor games encourage a positive state of mind.
  3. Eat fresh foods, vegetables, and seasonal fruits. Add nuts and dairy to your diet. Avoid fast-food and alcohol. Also, maintain regular meal times to avoid getting hungry and irritable.
  4. Practice mindful eating. Enjoy your meals in a relaxed mental state and atmosphere. Avoid hot discussions and watching TV during meals.
  5. Yoga, Pranayama, and meditation do wonders for enhancing mental and spiritual strength.
  6. Get out of your isolated zone and become more social. A social support system greatly improves mental state as you start to feel like you’re a part of something.
  7. Add these 5 super herbs to your diet – Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Brahmi, Jatamansi, and Guduchi.

Do you have any Ayurvedic ways to deal with depression? Then don’t forget to share via the comments section.

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Health & Fitness

7 Immune-Boosting Foods – Experience Life

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Looking to build your immune system? Start by eating immunity-boosting foods like turmeric, sauerkraut, and medicinal mushrooms.

Healthy, balanced immune function is your best defense against any illness. One of the keys to bolstering your immune system? Nutrition.

“Diet is all-important,” says preventive-medicine specialist David Katz, MD. “You’re building white blood cells, enzymes, and antibodies every day, and the food you eat is literally the source of your construction materials.”

A single meal can alter how immune cells respond to provocation, and the effects accumulate over hours, days, and weeks, he explains. “You can do a complete 180 and optimize a badly broken immune system in as little as weeks by improving your diet, so it’s a very immediate return on investment.”

Foods that dampen the immune system include highly processed or fried foods, those high in added sugar, and nonorganic foods grown with glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup, a common herbicide that has been linked to cancer.

On the flip side, foods rich in polyphenols — beneficial plant compounds found in many vegetables, fruits, and legumes — support immune function. Integrative practitioner Robert Rountree, MD notes that the Mediterranean diet (plenty of colorful vegetables, nuts, and olive oil; moderate amounts of protein; and a little red wine with dinner) provides a good general template for immune-supportive eating.

Some immune system–balancing superstars to focus on:

  1. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, including potent antioxidants called catechins that have antimicrobial properties and may help protect against influenza. It also contains quercetin, a flavonoid that Rountree calls a “time-honored immune-supportive agent.”
  2. Berries are a potent source of immune-supporting flavonoids. “When you eat berries, most of these pigment molecules go to the colon, where bacteria break them down into smaller molecules that escape and circulate in the body, exerting antiviral effects,” says David Nieman, DrPH, FACSM, an exercise immunologist at North Carolina’s Appalachian State University.
  3. Turmeric gets its deep orange-yellow from curcumin, a compound that helps balance the immune system. It has a modulating effect on T cells, B cells, macrophages, and other immune cells, and can also enhance antibody response.
  4. Garlic contains sulfuric compounds with a range of antimicrobial effects, such as inhibiting the biofilm formation of bacteria. It also has natural antiviral properties and can help reduce hypertension, one of the leading risk factors for COVID-19. (For more on garlic, see “Garlic”.)
  5. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, kiwi, and lemon deliver abundant ­vitamin C — one of the most important nutrients for the immune system, aiding in the formation of white blood cells. (For more on this essential ­nutrient, visit “What You Need to Know About Vitamin C”.)
  6. Sauerkraut and other fermented foods contain lactic-acid bacteria, which produce compounds in the gut that spur the immune system into action. And cabbage itself is another excellent source of vitamin C.
  7. Medicinal mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans, an immunomodulator that activates macrophages, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and neutrophils. “Mushrooms like shiitake, oyster, and maitake have been shown to prime immune cells in published studies,” says Rountree. He recommends both eating shiitake mushrooms and taking a mushroom extract to support the immune system.

This originally appeared as “Eat Well” in “6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System” in the January/February 2021 issue of Experience Life.


Mo Perry
is an Experience Life contributing editor.

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