Fatty Fish – Omega-3
Containing Omega-3 essential fatty acids, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel – even sardines – provide your brain with this nutrient that your body does not produce. Our brains are made up of mostly fat, so it’s important to consume Omega-3 through your diet. Consumption of Omega-3 has been linked with lower levels of depression. It is also very good for your joints, eyes, hair, skin, and nails.
Simply add fish to your meals 3-5 days a week.
Not a fish eater?
You can find some high quality supplements. You can also purchase algae based Omega-3 if you chose not to consume fish. Things I look for is the coating to help with fishy burps. Enteric coatings help to ensure that the pill doesn’t doesn’t dissolve until it’s passed through the stomach. Another thing to be aware of, the dosage. Sure you can find a mega bottle of 1000mg of “Fish Oil” at your local super centre, but if you look closely, you generally get minute amounts of Omega-3. LOOK at the make up of your fish oil. Generally, it’s only a very low amount of DHA and EPA.
You can get Omega-3 from nuts and seeds as well,
Often the amount of DHA and EPA are much lower than with fish or a supplement. Nuts also have Omega-6 which in excess, can cause inflammation.
Additional thoughts on fish consumption.
Try to make sure that your fish, or fish oil is free from mercury and sustainably caught.
Full of fibre, complex carbs will help to stabilize blood sugar and help to keep moods and energy levels consistent throughout the day. Most complex carbs are a source of B vitamins which can help improve mood by increasing levels of neurotransmitters.
Bonus: fibre helps fill you up so you’re less likely to overeat chips and ice cream.
- Fibre rich fruits such as apples, berries and bananas
- Whole grains
- Fibre rich veggies such as broccoli, leafy greens and carrots
- Beans and other lentils
Dark chocolate is rich in many mood boosting compounds including flavonoids, caffeine, theobromine, N-acylethanolamine.
Look for 70% or more cocoa content and watch out for added sugars.
It’s best to enjoy 1-2 small squares per day.
Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi contains probiotics, the good bacteria, that your body needs. Up to 90% of your serotonin is made in your digestive tract so it is important to keep to keep your gut healthy. Look for sugar free versions that you can flavour yourself with berries, cinnamon, vanilla and honey.
Caffeine acts as a mild anti-depressant by increasing the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, mood boosting neurotransmitters. Caffeine increases alertness and attention by preventing adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness. Decaf coffee has also been shown to increase mood, possibly due to the presence of antioxidants.
Enjoy 1-2 cups a day, but limit consumption in the afternoon and evening so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
On the flip side . . . too much caffeine can cause restlessness, anxiety and sleeplessness. So don’t over do the coffee.
Who am I to offer advice?
I am a certified NESTA Lifestyle and Weigh Management Specialist.
I have also worked in the natural health and supplement industry for over a decade. Still, all of this is simply advice. I am sharing information. Talk to your physician or medical professional before making any changes or starting a new program or supplement. I am not here to diagnose. prevent, or treat any disease or illness. I am simply offering advice from a nutritional standpoint.
If your brain doesn’t make the chemicals it needs — store bought is fine!
Please don’t be afraid to talk to someone or get help.
There’s no shame in taking medication to help with moods.
And if one doesn’t work, talk to your medical professional.
There are so many options.
Click here for a list of worldwide helplines