Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Mood Disorders

Most of us associate the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids with heart disease; however, they are also emerging as an effective treatment for mood disorders such as major depression, postpartum depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Since we cannot make our own omega-3s, we have to get them from food. Three types of omega-3s exist: DHA, EPA, or ALA. If you are looking to add omega-3s to your diet here are some suggestions:

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) are found in salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, herring-better known as cold water fishes. As far as how it effects our mood, DHA is thought to become part of the brain cells while EPA works by decreasing the inflammatory process. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in flaxseed, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

For overall good health aim for 2 or more servings of cold water fish each week, or about 500 mg per day. If you cannot get this from food due to allergies or other obstacles you may want to consider supplements.

Happy fishing!

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