23 Jun

Omega-3 Fats in Fish, Nuts, Olive Oil Can Reduce Depression

If you find yourself fishing for happiness, maybe it’s time to look to the obvious.  A new study performed at the University of California-San Francisco shows the omega-3 healthy fats abundant in cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, sardines and mackerel can help prevent depression in heart patients.

The UCSF study of nearly 1,000 patients with coronary heart disease showed that nearly a quarter of individuals with the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in theie bodies are suffering from depression. That’s compared to a depression rate of 13 percent among volunteer subjects with the highest levels of omega-3 fats. The findings, published onlne in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, confirm earlier studies showing a positive effect of high omega-3 levels and reduced depression in non-hospitalized patients with heart disease.

Other omega-3 super foods include olives, olive oil and most tree nuts. Some eggs are now fortified with omega-3 fats through putting omega-3’s in the feed. One bonus with omega-3 fats, which are the foundation of the Mediterranean diet increasingly recommended by cardiologists and other doctors, is they can help you lose weight while feeling less hungry.

The UCSF study even showed that each unit increase or decrease of omega-3 has a corresponding effect on depressive symptoms. When omega-3 consumption goes up, depression lowers. When a person consumes fewer omega-3 fats, depressive symptoms are heightened. The researchers did caution that a validation study of a more diverse, larger population is necessary. But that shouldn’t stop you from adding salmon, sardines, anchovies or mackerel to your diet, along with olive oil and other omega-3 rich food.

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