Depression can get any of us, Katrina learned. A mostly happy, cheerful
person with a great job and loving family, she had everything she had
ever wanted in life. But, she suddenly found herself blue. It wasn’t
that she had put her happiness in the hands of possessions or wealth, or
any of the other traps that lead to unhappiness. She was just down and
couldn’t get up.
A foodie by nature, she found herself excited about a new bistro opening
up just a few blocks from her home. They served the kind of food she had
eaten growing up: fresh fish, fresh seafood on occasion, tons of
vegetable dishes, locally grown beef, simple-but-delicious salads. The
kind of food Katrina’s grandmother had brought to the table so often in
the summers of her youth.
She went there once, then again, then again, until ordering the seared
salmon became a regular habit. At first her lunch trips there were the
only thing she had to look forward to. Over time, her life seemed to
clear up, the clouds were lifted, and she went back to her usual,
peacefully content ways.
This isn’t an example of someone discovering happiness in a
nostalgia-inducing local business. What Katrina experienced was actually
something grounded in science. Recent research has shown a close tie
between omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction of depressive symptoms.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health, University of
Delaware and Eastern Virginia Medical School found that women with high
blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids have a 49% reduction in risk of
serious depression symptoms. The exact mechanics of why this happens
aren’t quite nailed down yet, but many believe it’s due to omega-3 and
it’s ability to encourage serotonin flow. In case you’re wondering,
serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and emotions.
Feel good juice, in sillier terms.
This means you should look to add some more omega-3 to your diet. It’s
found in found, especially salmon and cod (not to mention fish oil
supplements), shrimp, scallops and tofu are great. The best sources
are walnuts and ground flax seeds.
Remember the Mediterranean Diet we’re always blogging about? The people
from those regions tend to live longer and be happier. All that fresh
fish they’re eating is rife with omega-3, no to mention all the nuts in
Of course, the BEST source we have found is krill oil.
While the test didn’t show any significant impact in men, the bros out
there would still do well to focus on fresh foods as well as a
supplement routine. Omega-3 is also proven to play a role in the
reduction of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer prevention and cardiac diseases.
All that fresh salmon Katrina was eating was actually helping lift her
out of the fog, along with many of the other items on the menu. You may
not have a bistro pop up in your neighborhood, but your local grocery
store or fresh food market will serve just as well.
How do you get your omega-3 fatty acids? Have you noticed any depressive
symptoms floating away as a result? Let us hear about it in the comments.