Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Omega-3 and My Other Allies

posted by Beyond Blue

potato.jpg
My mouth/stomach and brain are in constant negotiation talks with each other because while one loves white bread, pasta, and chocolate, the other has a hissy fit whenever they enter my blood stream. My diet has always been an important part of my recovery from depression, but two years ago, in working with a naturopath, I realized how directly everything that I put in my mouth affects my mood.
Here are the bad boys: nicotine (although I was only a social or binge smoker, I had to give it up because smoking destroys practically every organ inside your body; however, if it’s your least harmful addiction, light her up); caffeine (it’s a drug, which is why I’m addicted to it), alcohol (it made me crazy); white flour and processed food (what you live on when you have preschoolers who won’t touch tofu and spinach); and sugar (oh man, I’m trying, but oh man).
Here are the good guys: protein (eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish, chicken, seeds, nuts); complex starches (whole grains, beans, potatoes); vegetables (broccoli, spinach, squash); vitamins (vitamin B-complex, vitamins E and C, and a multivitamin); minerals (magnesium, calcium, and zinc); omega-3 fatty acids.
So every morning on top of my mood stabilizer and antidepressants, I take vitamin C, B-complex, vitamin E, a multi-vitamin, glucosamine-chondrotin, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and folic acid.
I’m religious about stocking a Noah’s Ark supply of Omega-3 capsules because leading physicians at Harvard Medical School confirmed the positive effects of this natural, anti-inflammatory molecule on emotional health. Because I feel as though I owe my brain as much help as I can give it, I fork over lots of cash ($60 a month) for the Mac Daddy of the Omege-3s. I order online from OmegaBrite, because their capsules contain 70 percent EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid). One 500mg softgel capsule (and I take six of them … because if one is good, six is better!) gives you 350mg of EPA and 50mg of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), which meets the doctor-formulated 7:1 EPA to DHA ratio, needed to elevate and stabilize mood.
It takes me the same amount of time to swallow all my morning pills as it takes Eric to fry our breakfast eggs and set the table. But it’s certainly worth the time. Because some of us (like me) really are what we eat.



  • Larry Parker

    I’m generally just a multivitamin guy, but I really do have to try the Omega-3 because everyone raves about them.
    I’m a big guy (although, mercifully, not quite as big these days), yet I’ve always found I do best both mood-wise and weight-wise when I concentrate more on protein. (Which is fine with me anyway.) I’ve seen other research like this, and it’s starting to make sense. Amino acids help build the brain, of course, and where are those of us with depression lacking the right connections?!
    I was always told as a kid and even into adulthood not to eat too much protein because of cholesterol, which makes sense. But in the last few years, I haven’t eaten much red meat or eggs anyway (a burger once a month, or once every two weeks during summer, at the most; eggs once every two weeks at most as well, and I love Egg Beaters anyway). My cholesterol isn’t ideal — moderately high — but it’s within acceptable limits and my blood pressure is always excellent. And I love sliced turkey, grilled chicken, etc.
    And protein seems somehow easier to metabolize (or shed, when it comes to the still extra pounds) for me than carbs. If you lose 30 pounds in a few months INCLUDING THE HOLIDAYS, I must be doing something OK.
    Still have a caffeine addiction (unsweetened iced tea — no carbs, at least). But, as noted above, sometimes you have to pick your least harmful addiction in picking your battles. At least I’m not an espresso guy.

  • Amy

    I just thought I’d add that I take 5-htp for my depression. You can buy it at basically any drug store. I have found it to work for me, esp with PMDD symptoms as well.

  • lynn

    dear amy what is 5-htp? I am starting peri-menopause and my pmdd is vicious any advice?

  • chatter

    life without espresso is an impossibility for me…i switched to decaf coke, but i can’t give up caffeinated espresso: it’s part of my ethnic identity!
    can anyone recommend a good omega-3 supplement that isn’t as costly as the one our fearless leader (i say that lovingly…therese) uses?

  • CLeo

    I concur and identify. All those food and addictions listed in Terese’s article have the same effect on me. Caffeine remains with me though. I only drink a couple of mugs in the morning, das ist alles! But it may be too much, I have problems getting to sleep at night and when I do it’s only for 4 hours max, then 2 hours awake, then another 3 hours of sleep. This couldn’t be good for anyone.
    Omega 3 and GLA’s are so very important. Almost every week I read something about Omega 3, it may even stave off Alzheimers, it’s excellent for the joints, the skink, the mind, etc.
    Espresso is out for me, so is sugar, still the French baguettes have not lost their allure and so it’s good butter, such as Irish butter liberally spreaded over a generous chunk of French bread, still warm from the oven.

  • Lynne

    I have the two cup of coffee in the morning to get out the door ritual. I do try to eat as little red meat as possible. I prefer chicken,turkey and fish anyway so there’s no sacrifice. Also salsa and baked chips are a staple. (salsa has a lot of metabolism boosters and the capsican is also known to help with arthritis)Whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, black beans and lots of veggies and salads are delicious and nutritious! I down plenty of the omegas as well as ground flaxseed. A little on your breakfast cereal has tons of bonus benefits including shiny hair, smoother skin, joint health etc. I’ve tried to limit my intake of refined sugars and have found the no-sugar-added varieties of ice cream and yougert quite tasty! Unfortunately I find myself “metabolically challenged” as I’ve added a few pounds to a few years. Oh well I’ll keep up the battle of the bulge.

  • CLeo

    I am what I eat, most definitely! Sadly I’m allergic to seeds and nuts so I’m limited in what I can eat, like all berries, and milk products. I can barely eat cheese, and that’s every 4 weeks or so and not very much of it, just a sliver.
    Alcohol makes me crazy, I’m not an alcoholic but it does change my chemistry. It’s insidious, I can have a couple of glasses of high quality white wine and feel OK, but in about 8 to 10 hrs, or so, the changes are apparent, quick mood swings, darkness all around, jumpyness and even paranoia.
    Sugar is less damaging but not by much.
    I take great quantities of Omega 3, now I’ve read that Krill oil is much more effective than the regular Fish Oil capsules and more expensive too. I consume sardines and salmon at least 3 times a week.
    People like us are forced to eat a healthy diet and that’s OK with me!

  • Marlene TeKippe

    Dear Chatter,
    I have found Nature Made Fish Oil (Omega 3) to be
    very effective. I have been taking 2 capsules per day.
    If you have a Walgreen’s Drug Store…many weekly ads have
    the Nature Made for buy one, get one free. Very inexpensive.
    I understand the oil from the wild fish is more effective
    and Nature Made claims to use that.
    Good luck!!

  • SamathaJ

    I take Omegabrite too and I love it. I take 4 per day. My physician recommended Omegabrite for my mood with bipolar disorder 5 years ago. It has helped tremendously. I tried many other brands but they don’t come close. I have it delivered monthly. My children are now taking it too and I think they are better from it. They call it their smart caps.

  • Mary151

    I take Omegabrite too. I like it,helps my back and my mood. My kids even like Omegabrite I have them taking it after reading aout the increased math and reading scores plus their brain devlopment. No way would they take any othe the others, they are huge and have disusting taste. Omegabrite has no taste at all which is great for a fish oil. this does not I might ask Whole foods to carry it, i tried everything they had but they do not do the same thing for my mood or back which is better. My kids will not take any of them.
    A lot of the kids at my kids school in Boston are on Omegabrite, they like it. Thats rare that kids like a vitamin.I guess it is kind of a buzz for boys as being the thing to use that’s healthy and makes you stronger and smarter. My son found a You Tube on Omegabrite. It is very cute. It is about a little kid getting ripped on Omegabrite (building muscles I am informed).
    I order it from their website http://www.omegabrite.com. We are all on the autoship which then comes automatically.
    Here is the you tube. It says the mom made it and she is a pediatrician and recommends it in her practice.
    You can find the You tube under http://youtube.com/watch?v=3xqvRDdDf1U

  • Mary151

    I take Omegabrite too. I like it,helps my back and my mood. My kids even like Omegabrite I have them taking it after reading aout the increased math and reading scores plus their brain devlopment. No way would they take any othe the others, they are huge and have disusting taste. Omegabrite has no taste at all which is great for a fish oil. this does not I might ask Whole foods to carry it, i tried everything they had but they do not do the same thing for my mood or back which is better. My kids will not take any of them.
    A lot of the kids at my kids school in Boston are on Omegabrite, they like it. Thats rare that kids like a vitamin.I guess it is kind of a buzz for boys as being the thing to use that’s healthy and makes you stronger and smarter. My son found a You Tube on Omegabrite. It is very cute. It is about a little kid getting ripped on Omegabrite (building muscles I am informed).
    I order it from their website http://www.omegabrite.com. We are all on the autoship which then comes automatically.
    Here is the you tube. It says the mom made it and she is a pediatrician and recommends it in her practice.
    You can find the You tube under Liam Omegabrite

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