EPA/DHA Omega-3: Healthy Fats Fight Depression
by Dr. Ray Sahelian
Want to be happier? Eat less junk food and more fish.
Diet plays a crucial role in mood disorders. Research shows that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can fight feelings of depression. Conversely, foods loaded with simple carbs can bring you down. Here’s how.
Scientists have found that inflammation in the brain plays a significant role in depression. Natural chemicals calledcytokines cause this brain inflammation. If you ever had a low mood or felt depressed during or after a bad case of the flu, then you know first hand how these cytokines, which are released by the immune system, affect your brain. Cytokines also cause loss of appetite, altered sleep patterns and fatigue.
Fortunately, cytokines and other substances that cause inflammation are influenced by diet. When you eat lots of fish or foods with omega-3 fatty acids, your body will make fewer inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, a diet to combat depression should rely heavily on fish and other foods that lower inflammation, such as vegetables. Foods that increase inflammation include those with simple carbohydrates, such as pastries, sweets, ice cream, sugared drinks, and in general what we call “junk foods”.
Unfortunately, when a patient goes to the doctor feeling depressed, it is unlikely that the physician will do a dietary history. Most likely, the doctor will pull out the prescription pad and write another antidepressant script before you can even spell “depression.” There are many causes for depression. Diet is one cause that is often overlooked.
While people with chronic depression should always be under a doctor’s care, they may find that a diet that eliminates simple carbs while increasing healthy omega-3 fats is the best medicine.
This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise’s Total Health Breakthroughs, offering alternative solutions for mind, body and soul. For a complimentary subscription, visithttp://www.totalhealthbreakthroughs.com/
[Ed. Note: Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a practicing physician and best-selling author. He is a leading authority on natural supplements and nutrition. For the latest research on organic ways to improve your health and well being, click here.]