We have all been hearing a lot about the benefits of fish oil for depression in the news and, the fact is, our brains are made up of the same beneficial fat found in fish oil. A healthy brain is a fatty brain, particularly an Omega 3-loaded brain. Fish oil is by far the most abundant source of the key Omega 3 fatty acid that fights depression. If your brain does not have enough of this fat then, absolutely, fish oil for depression may help you find some relief.
Fish In The Diet: Is That Enough Fish Oil For Depression?
Search around this website and you will find extensive information about the level of Omega 3 fats in various foods. A good place to start is by reading this article about Omega 3 and depression. It reviews foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids but also foods you may be eating that actually increase your need for fish oil for depression.
The short answer is that it is extremely likely that you do not have enough of the beneficial fat in fish oil in your diet right now. Furthermore, it is likely that you have never had enough fish oil in your diet. In the book Rebuild from Depression, I discuss this issue in detail.
Fish Oil For Depression: Dosage
Fish oil can fight depression because it contains high levels of the beneficial Omega 3 fatty acid, critical to our brain health. However, this statement begs the question: How much fish oil for depression do we take?
A study by Joseph Hibbeln concluded that Americans should consume 3.5 grams of EPA and DHA every day to decrease our risk of stroke, heart disease, depression, and diabetes. (See the abstract here: Hibbeln on fish oil.) EPA and DHA are long-chain Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Andrew Stoll, Ph.D., Harvard researcher on Omega 3 and depression recommends 4 grams of EPA per day for those with depression. The advice of 4 grams of EPA fish oil for depression each day is quite a bit but important to refill what has been missing in our diet.
Generally, practitioners are recommending 2-4 grams of EPA a day.
Make no mistake, I am referring specifically to “EPA.” EPA is the specific long-chain fatty acid found most abundantly in fish oil which researchers are suggesting is effective. Plant forms of Omega 3 such as flax seed oil do not contain EPA. In fact, most Omega 3 supplements do not include all that much EPA. Reading the label on your nutritional supplement is critical. I discuss this issue in the video below.
Fish Oil For Depression In Food: The Long Game
We do recommend that you start a fish oil supplement to meet the recommended one to four grams of EPA a day to fight depression, but your key to winning the long game is to incorporate more foods rich in fish oil into your diet. Fish and seafood have the added benefit of being loaded with minerals which will also help build your brain. Your body makes new cells every day (every minute even) and a good diet provides it with the building blocks to make healthy cells and, thus, healthy organs.
We provide a list of high Omega 3 seafood on this site (see best Omega 3 foods). One of the most delicious ways to get fish oil in your diet is through the Omega 3 rich salmon. Wild salmon is the best bet — it’s actually higher in the beneficial Omega 3 fish oil and lower in the Omega 3 competitor Omega 6. It tends to be lower as well in the toxins that have come to pollute our waters. We provide a very simple and extremely satisfying grilled salmon recipe here on this site in video format (grilled salmon). Do not forget the homemade tartar sauce.
A staple around this house is an extremely easy and inexpensive salmon salad that makes use of canned salmon. You can find canned wild pink salmon at dollar stores or you can extremely high-quality canned salmon online. I buy what I can afford. I keep plenty in the pantry and a good lettuce in the refrigerator. I can mix up a batch of salmon salad in minutes, wash and strain the lettuce, and mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a quick and satisfying homemade salad dressing. The entire meal is quick, fairly in expensive, and rich in fish oil and other beneficial oils.
Oysters are a good bet as well with both Omega 3 fish oil and minerals such as iron and zinc. They are very easy to prepare. A few quick ideas follow.
Baked Oysters:Arrange 24 oysters on the half shell on rock salt in a dripping pan and bake at 350 degrees until the edges begin to curl. Cover the oysters in a sauce made with three tablespoons of melted butter mixed with one tablespoon lemon juice, a few drops of Tabasco sauce, one teaspoon of fresh copped parsley, and paprika to taste.
Fried Oysters:Pick over one pint of large oysters and parboil them in their own liquid until the edges are curled. Drain, reserving the liquid. Dry the oysters on a towel and season with salt and pepper. Dip them in a crumb and egg mixture. Fry in a deep fryer (or a hot skillet) and drain on brown paper. Serve on toast with cocktail sauce.
Deviled Oysters:Put one pint of oysters in a strainer over a bowl, reserving the liquid in the oysters. Hold the oysters under the faucet for a moment, then pick over, being careful to remove any bits of shell and cook until the edges curl. On the side, melt two tablespoons of butter and add three tablespoons of flour. Mix the flour into the butter. When smooth, add the oyster liquid and 3/4 cup of milk. Stir until the sauce boils. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, one teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, a few grains of nutmeg, and 1 egg yolk slightly beaten. Add to sauce with the oysters. Serve on toast.
Start Fish Oil For Depression Today!
If you are struggling with depression, I do strongly recommend examining your diet and, if appropriate, supplementing with fish oil for depression.