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omega-3 and mood

Omega-3 and Mood: How it Helps Us and Where to Source It

omega-3 and mood

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There’s a definable correlation between omega-3 and mood.

The benefits of omega-3 have become known far and wide in the health community. It’s an indispensable supplement for maintaining a positive mood, enhancing mental clarity, and reducing stress. 

In order to reap the benefits from taking omega-3, however, it’s wise to know more about its components and where to source it. But first, let’s talk about how exactly it benefits our brains and thus our mood.

Omega-3 and mood

A little over a year ago, researchers published a review in Frontiers in Physiology concluding that low levels of omega-3 fats in the body directly correlate with increased levels of depression and anxiety. They also found that omega-3 supplementation was actually able to decrease cases of anxiety and depression. 

The scientists titled their research “Food for Mood,” a direct reference to the power of omega-3 in improving our mood and overall well-being. They believe that because our ancestors resided near rivers and lakes throughout the Paleolithic era, they had access to foods containing high levels of omega-3 fats. Due to this evolutionary addition to our biology, omega-3 and mood have become closely tied. 

Unfortunately, due to industrialization and the modern lifestyle, diets are becoming low in omega-3. This is why many people are beginning to focus on foods and supplements with high concentrations of this important nutrient.

Foods to focus on for omega-3 and mood enhancement

Although diets have generally become deficient in omega-3s, foods rich in these brain-boosting fats are easy to come by. Focus on these if you wish to enhance the way you feel every day.

 

Omega-3 and Mood: How it Helps Us and Where to Source It

Omega-3 rich fish

As long as you opt for wild, sustainably caught fish, this rich source of omega-3s can definitely hold an important place in your diet. Fish are an abundant source of omega-3 fats because they contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an important form of omega-3 found in high levels in seafood.

Include mackerel, sardines, anchovies, or salmon into your diet every week. 

Omega-3 and Mood: How it Helps Us and Where to Source It

Walnuts

Walnuts are another great food for omega-3 and mood. According to California Walnuts and their site dedicated to all things walnuts, these superfood nuts contain 2.5 grams of omega-3 per one ounce in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is a plant-based form of omega-3 also found in flax seeds and chia seeds. 

Walnuts are the nut highest in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 and Mood: How it Helps Us and Where to Source It

Avocados

The avocado is a delicious brain food that contains a notable amount of omega-3. Per cup, avocados contain nearly 10% of the daily recommendation of omega-3. This is a very significant amount for a fruit. 

Omega-3 and Mood: How it Helps Us and Where to Source It

Seeds

As mentioned previously, seeds such as chia and flax contain a lot of plant-based omega-3. Aim to incorporate these into your diet through smoothies, salads, oatmeal, yogurt, and baking. 

 

Omega-3 and Mood: How it Helps Us and Where to Source It

 

Supplementing for omega-3 and mood

Supplementing with omega-3 has become a popular choice for those wanting to receive larger doses of these brain-healing fats.

I want to warn you against buying any omega-3 supplement based on price. Many supplements contain unwanted added ingredients, and rather impure sources of omega-3 as well. Avoid buying omega-3 from farm-raised fish and with added ingredients such as carrageenan, added flavors, and artificial preservatives.

Some examples of pure, bioavailable omega-3 supplements 

Cymbiotika’s “The Omega” is arguably the best plant-based omega-3 supplement on the market. It contains DHA extracted from wild microalgae and uses antioxidants as preservatives. It’s tested and free of chemicals and impure ingredients such as heavy metals, plastics, and BPA.

What’s extra special about this supplement is actually its “other ingredients.” The supplement contains astaxanthin, another algae that is a powerful antioxidant and contains brain-boosting powers. The supplement is also sweetened with monk fruit, a sweetener that promotes healthy bacterial balance in the digestive tract. 

Amandean’s “Sustainably Sourced Algal Oil Vegan Omega-3” is also pretty special due to its highly bioavailable source of DHA extracted from marine algae. It’s free of mercury and other environmental contaminants.

The supplement maintains a clean record in terms of its “other ingredients” section. Rosemary oil is used as a preservative rather than an artificial ingredient. Also, note that this is a sustainably sourced product that contains no genetic modifications. 

Finally, check out DSO’s “Plant-Based Omega-3”. This supplement is particularly potent for omega-3 and mood, given its high concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA. EPA is another form of omega-3 readily available in algal oils (which this supplement is sourced from). The supplement contains 700mg of DHA and 900mg of DHA per serving.

Another attractive component of this supplement is its simple ingredients. It simply contains the desired omega-3 fats and an outer vegetable capsule. The creators also claim that the supplement is free from environmental contaminants such as PCBs. 

The supplement is vegan and gluten-free certified. 

Moving forward with better mood

Omega-3 and mood are directly correlated due to, as the researchers for Frontiers in Physiology noted, omega-3’s capacity to “modulate neurobiological processes involved in the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression.”

Given the research by health professionals, taking omega-3 to inhibit anxiety and depression ultimately may lead to better mood. Researchers with Harvard Medical School note in Harvard Health Publishing that meta-analyses, or research examining results from many studies, show how omega-3s are very effective for bettering mood. 

The researchers note that “different mechanisms of action have been proposed. For example, omega-3 can easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. They also have anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve depression.”

Overall, as a method of bettering your mood, consider adding omega-3 to your daily repertoire of brain-boosters. Whether you decide to change your diet or supplement it with these power fats—just make sure you source them responsibly. 

Aim to eat organic sources of omega-3 and only eat fish if it is wild and sustainably caught (Alaskan-caught is a good place to start). Finally, if you’re supplementing, watch out for unhealthy added ingredients and preservatives such as carrageenan. This will ensure you’re keeping your body clean and thus your wellness a high priority. 

Interested in more ways to improve your mood? Visit the TelMD Upstream Blog.

Let’s make wellness contagious!™ 

 

omega-3 and mood

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