Anxiety Food: Fish Oil

The belly rules the mind. ~Spanish Proverb

Of all the things you can do to help cope with your anxiety, the most simple would be to add anti-anxiety foods to your diet. I will be posting and podcasting about various types of foods and supplements that can help you cope with your anxiety. However, today I want to focus on fish oil. Fish oil is derived from oily fish like salmon, mackerel, lake trout, flounder and albacore tuna (eat lightly). The food that salmon and similar fish eat produces omega-3 fatty acids that you can consume by munching on the big fish.

Because some of these fish are known to be somewhat toxic (Biomagnification) they should be eaten moderately. To avoid this I take a 1200 mg supplement pill (you can up the dose if you like to 2400 mg) of fish oil every single day. I feel that it does work for me. It helps to manage my mood and it has no side effects. As you all might know by now I am a staunch proponent of taking natural eatables to help me with my anxiety. I am not against meds per say, but I stay away from them because of the potential for side effects.

According to some experts (based on scientific research studies) there is some evidence to suggest that regular consumption of fish oil can help with anxiety, depression, cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease prevention and the list goes on my friends. There is no such thing as a magic bullet for anything, but this is close. Researchers do caution that some of the data is inconclusive and so there is a debate out there about whether or not this stuff works, but I believe it does. Harvard research labs have done studies that show it helps people with bipolar disorder and depression, the latter of which is related to anxiety which is a type of mood disorder. Just remember that depending on the severity of your anxiety you might have to take a lot more than I do, but that doesn’t mean you have to pop pills all day either. There is plenty of food rich in omega 3 fatty acids and all kinds of yummy ways to cook them up. If your unsure of the doses talk to your doctor.

The bottom line is that I love the stuff and I did start feeling better after I started taking them. I also was skeptical about whether or not they would help when I started the regimen, but now it is an everyday part of my anti-anxiety food plan. Eating healthy is always a safe bet and when you have an anxiety disorder or PTSD you want to do everything you can to help manage those brain juices (chemicals) and other vital bodily functions, such as maintaining a healthy heart, which for anxiety sufferers is awesome because that is one less worry for us. You really don’t have to curl up into a ball when you have anxiety because you always have the option of doing something about it while you accept it for now and get better overtime.

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  • sad -56@3-fish-oil-omega

    It is very interesting

  • Josh

    I have been taking fish oil supplements for five days now. I will post here again in a few weeks to note any mental effect of these pills. So far I have noticed my skin is so much smoother and softer. I am taking 3 pills a day. 2 at lunch And 1 at dinner.

  • http://www.jennifersneeden.com Jennifer Sneeden, Boca Raton Therapist

    We’ve been hearing so much about the importance of fish oil in so many conditions and disorders that we are treating with psychotropic medications. Fish oil, along with a proper diet, can make a bigger difference than people realize for many conditions.

  • Kevin

    Thanks! Hey, do you recommend any brand of fish oil?

  • http://anxietyguru.net Paul Dooley

    Hey Kevin, I use a brand called Nature Made.

  • Cesar

    Began taking fish oil and feel more confident and balanced. I read it also protects against concussions. Been using Carlson liquid, it works well. Will use the DHA 500 mg capsules soon. I tried Nature Made and it didn’t do much for me.

    Have you heard of Holosync? That has lowered my stress levels significantly as well. I have PTSD and it is a life saver.

  • Justin

    I began taking fish oil a few weeks ago, along with a B-vitamin. I can’t say whether or not these supplement changes are the cause, but I know I have had more of an elevated mood since taking these supplements than I have had in a long, long time. I did not take the fish oil and B-vitamin after reading this website or any other website – I actually remembered reading about the importance of proper nutrition in a mental health book I read years ago, so I decided to try adding these supplements to the multivitamin that I was already taking.

    My reason for posting is to respond that, for me, consuming fish oil supplements has (so far) seemed to give me the boost I need in battling my general sense of anxiety and depression. It isn’t some life-changing thing, but I have definitely noticed an overall lift in my mood and sense of well-being – and I noticed this far before I read articles like this – so I don’t think it is just a placebo effect.

    I urge anyone to consider adding fish oil supplements to your diet. Unless you have a very specific medical condition that warrants not trying it, what do you have to lose? It’s worth a shot!

  • http://www.everystudent.com Mikechew

    fish oil has helped improve my mood and also has helped me get through really bad anxiety attacks! Fish oil really does improve your mood!! better than taking man-made pills!

  • Sam

    Fish oil is very good. I think the debate goes on with empirically based and peer reviewed analyses is because those guys get large grants from ‘big pharma’ to run multiple studies and clinical trials for their meds, not to mention the seminars, trips and large bonuses some doctors get for ‘getting on board.’ Big Pharma holds seats on the FDA. SSRIs, SNRIs are a 16.5 billion dollar a year industry, so what do you think they’re gonna go with? There are great, natural anxiety reducing supplements, like magnesium, 3-n-butylphthalides found in celery. Celery juice is a wonderful tonic for anxiety and lowers blood pressure and cleanses the liver. Niacinamide(Vitamine B3) is great for anxiety, because this is almost always low in anxiety sufferers. use Niacinamide or Inositol hexanicotinate, not Nicotinic acid, this is used to lower high cholesterol and will cause flushing. Niacinamide and Inositol are non flush(redness in the face, itching) types or just take a B50 or B100 complex. A high quality B complex, especially in liquid form shows the biggest improvement the most rapidly, usually within a few days to a week. Take with food or agitation is a possibility. L-Taurine has shown very good results with anxiety, as it suppresses the effect of norepinephrine and removes fatty deposits in the liver. It has also shown to reduce cravings for carbs and helps with alcohol cessation. L-glutamine is also helpful, as it stimulates GABA, but start slow because it also stimulates glutamate, which is a trigger for anxiety. All of these are very inexpensive, so if you could take something that is all natural and has multiple benefits and virtually no side effects when taken properly, as compared to a med that is highly promoted and marketed by the large pharmaceuticals and chock full of side effects like insomnia, agitation, loss of libido, weight gain, sometimes worsening of symptoms, which would you go with? And Big Pharma won’t fund intense studies on naturals because they can’t patent it and ‘own’ it. But I digress, fish oil is very good for you. Just make sure you get a high quality, purified ‘burpless’ brand, cause the ‘fish burps’ ain’t no fun.

  • monkaroo

    I’ve been taking carlsons super DHA which has 500 mg of DHA in one pill. I take 6 a day in divided doses totaling 3,000 mg of dha. Dha is the active acid that affects mood and thinking in the brain. It lifted my depression and has lowered my anxiety 60-70% in 3 weeks. I figure continual dosing will improve it more in the coming weeks. Also have your vitamin D levels checked. Iow levels are linked to anxiety.

    If your anxiety is not that bad 1000-1500 mg of DHA a say should work.

  • Debbie

    Hi i suffer really bad anxiety, panick attacks and depression and tryed diffrent tablets from docs but the side effects just made me worse. Do the fish oil tablets really work? I have pure fish oil tablets that are 1000mg how many could i take a day and any other vitamins i could try for it?

  • Michael

    In a book I read called “The Depression Cure” there’s a whole section on Omega-3′s. I belive it has helped my anxiety & its also good to know the heart benefits of Omega-3′s. I take 2 triple strength Spring Valley brand a day that I picked up at Walmart for around $12. The book recomended at least 1000mgs of EPA & 500mgs of DHA & 2 pills of the brand I’ve been using accomplishes this. The chapter in the book was pretty interesting as to how modern diets are so much lower in Omega-3′s as humans had in the past.

  • Christine

    I just started 2400 milligrams of fish oil per day (Sundown Naturals Fish Oil, 1,200 mg, softgels, 60ct. from RiteAid). And after 3 days I have already noticed a huge improvement in my mood. I am loving life. I am going to cut down my dose to 1200 mg/1 gel daily because the high dose does work as a laxative.

    And this better mood is going on even though I am facing a big stressor (son found to have schiz). So, this will be a normal supplement to me for life. I am grateful to have discovered it after researching natural supplements for anxiety & depression and orthomolecular therapy for schizophrenia.