Depression is a very serious problem, one that affects millions of people around the U.S. and the rest of the world!
According to the National Institute of Mental Health :
Up to 7.1% of all U.S. adults (17.3 million) have had at least one depressive episode within the last year
Adult females have a higher rate of depression compared to adult males—8.7% vs. 5.3%
An estimated 4.5% of all U.S. adults (11 million) have had at least one depressive episode with severe impairment within the last year
As you can see, that’s a lot of people dealing with depression! Worse, up to 35% of those adults suffering from depression never seek treatment—medication or therapy.
The good news is that there are many approaches to treating and managing depression.
For many people, finding a “natural” way to deal with depression is the best option. They add more depression-fighting foods—foods like fish and nuts that are rich in brain-healthy fats, fermented foods containing gut-boosting probiotics, and folate-rich leafy greens that can increase serotonin levels—to their diet to combat the problem naturally.
According to one new study published in July 2019 , there’s one nutrient that may prove very effective at combating depression.
Resveratrol, a polyphenol common in dark red foods, may very well have both anti-stress and anti-depression properties!
The researchers injected subjects with corticosterones, which caused cell lesions in the body. However, after treating with resveratrol, the viability of the damaged cells increased. It was thanks to resveratrol’s ability to decrease the presence of an enzyme (and the expression of that enzyme) that caused damage to the cells.
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Resveratrol also prevented corticosterone (a mimic of the stress-hormone cortisol) from decreasing in a variety of neurochemicals. Essentially, it helped to protect the brain cells, and it encouraged the effectiveness of important proteins vital for brain function.
According to the study’s conclusion, resveratrol can have “protective effects on stress-induced depression- and anxiety-like behavior” by preventing stress from decreasing the brain’s expression and uptake of critical proteins, and both decreasing the damage caused by stress and encouraging faster repair to the brain as a result of that damage.
The interesting thing about the anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties of resveratrol is how it may very well reduce depression as well. Experts have found there is a link between stress/anxiety and depression . Basically, when stress and anxiety are high, glucocorticoids (including cortisol) are released, and cause chronic low-grade damage to the neurons in your brain, specifically in your hippocampus. Over time, these highly sensitive neurons are damaged to the point that depression (neurochemical imbalance) sets in.
Not only will resveratrol help to protect the cells from this low-grade, long term damage caused by stress and anxiety, but it can also help to encourage the repair of those neurons. It’s both a depression management and treatment option that may be a great solution to help you combat depression at the cellular level!
If you’re looking to add more resveratrol to your life, often it’s best to take a resveratrol supplement in order to get a concentrated dose of the polyphenol.
However, for those who want resveratrol in its natural form, you’ll find there are a number of foods you can add to your diet :
Red Grapes –The dark red skin of red grapes are loaded with resveratrol. After all, it’s the polyphenol that gives the grapes their color!
Grape Juice –100% natural grape juice made from dark-skinned grapes (like Concord grapes) will often contain the resveratrol extracted from the grape skins. However, be warned: most commercial grape juices are made from concentrate and contain very little in the way of nutrients.
Red Wine –Red wine is made from grapes, both the flesh and the polyphenol-rich skin. A glass of dark red wine will give you a resveratrol boost.
Peanuts –Peanuts are loaded with all manner of antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols, including, it seems, resveratrol. You’ll find it’s also present in peanut butter and other peanut products.
Berries –Blueberries are definitely the best berry source of polyphenols like resveratrol, along with anthocyanins and other antioxidants that can work with resveratrol to protect and improve cellular health. Cranberries and bilberries are also good sources, though, like blueberries, they contain less resveratrol than red grapes.
Dark Chocolate –Dark chocolate is another antioxidant-rich food, and it contains a hefty dose of many polyphenols, including resveratrol. While not as much as red grapes, dark chocolate is still an excellent source of this anti-depressive nutrient.
If you want to get more resveratrol in your diet, these are the foods you should be eating!
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