Boost Your Mood and More with Fish Oil!

There appears to be a correlation between depression and a lack of omega-3 tip fish fat in blood cells. Less omega-3 = Greater depression. It is suggested that omega-3’s help to regulate serotonin (the feel good hormone). In some studies it fatty acids have been found helpful in treatment of both unipolar and bipolar depressive episodes! Along with a boost in mood, there are other perks to getting the omega-3’s.

1) Calms aggression – A study done by Tomoitio Hamazaki and colleagues at Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University showed that students who were given daily fish oil capsules showed no increased aggression during the stressful time of exams, whereas aggression shot up an average of 9% and as much as 46% in the students taking the placebo.

2) Helps with concentration and faster learning –  In fish oil is something called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is essential for the growth and development of children’s brains. It is also necessary for normal brain functioning in adults. Many adults are deficient DHA so taking supplement can boost brain function up to expected/normal levels. There are low levels of DHA in eggs and meat.
For more information on the health benefits of DHA check out this study:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479465

3)Protects from Alzheimer’s Disease – A study done in 2012 concluded that “Patients with AD have been shown to be deficient in DHA, and supplementing them with EPA+DHA not only reverses this deficiency, but may also improve cognitive functioning in patients with very mild AD.” (Swanson, et. al)

Access the study here:
http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/1/1.full

HOW MUCH?

Based on a 2000 calorie/day diet, experts recommend 650 milligrams/day of long chain omega-3’s (DHA and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid)).

How much is that?

  • Mackerel (1 oz.), Herring (1.5 oz.) and Sardines (1.5 oz.) have the most DHA in them, followed by Tuna (3.5 oz.). Salmon (1.75 oz.) and swordfish (3.5 oz.) also are good sources of DHA.
  • If you decide that you don’t wish to eat fish every single day, a supplement is a good choice. If taking a supplement always make sure the it will not interfere with anything you are already taking and take as directed on the label.

***
If you are feeling down, your dietary intake is a good place to start your focus on feeling better. Think about what you are putting in your body and how it will likely make you feel. We are what we eat.

Some of the information in this post has been sources from the book “Your Miracle Brain” by Jean Carper. This book is an easy read and filled with valuable and interesting brain boosting suggestions.

 

Walk into Creativity!

If you are looking to stimulate some creative ideas, a new study has found that walking is the way to do it!

The research study was co-authored by Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate in educational psychology, and Daniel Schwartz, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education.

The results showed that the walkers were 60% more creative! 

The researchers had 176 college students walk in the forest, walk on a treadmill, sit inside and sit outside. The result was that the walkers, after only 5-16 minutes of walking, produced the best results when asked to do a creative task.

So, next time you want to start a creative project or you are looking for some inspiration, take a break and go for a walk! There’s no easier than walking to get those creative juices flowing. :)

To read more, check out this link:

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/give-ideas-legs-study-finds-walking-improves-creativity/

 

 

 

 

Happiness Index

The Happy Planet Index is a tool used to measure the happiness/ wellbeing, life expectancy and ecological footprint of the people in each country.

Something to consider when reading the data is the countries that come out on top are not necessarily the happiest, but the happiest with longest life, and with the smallest footprint.

Costa Rica comes out as number one according to this research, followed by Vietnam and next, Columbia.

Of the 151 countries studied, Denmark is the country that rated the highest in happiness/wellbeing, followed by Canada and Norway.

The United States scores a HPI of 37.3. This puts it 105th on the list. When looking at it’s isolated ecological footprint scale, the US ranks 146th, with 151 being the largest ecological footprint.

The country that this study deemed to have the largest ecological footprint is Qatar (a small country in Western Asia with a large amount of natural gas reserves and excess oil), and the lowest, Afganistan.

If you are intersted to learn more about the Happy Planet Index, check it out here: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data/

*** In future article I would like to challenge myself and readers to create a personal happy index with three factors. What would your three factors be? I’m thinking mood x health / money spent.

 

 

Happy Spice

Herbs and spices are a tasty, easy and extremely healthy way to boost up the nutritional value in a meal. Oregano for example, has 4x the antioxidant activity as blueberries!

The struggle with many herbal remedies is knowing the dosage you need to experience the positive effects. The research that has been done is limited and the dosing will depend on a persons age, weight, general health, and other conditions. The drug companies are not particularly interested in funding research on herbal remedies for obvious reasons.

The following herbs listed have many other effects besides the ones I will speak about as I am focusing on their properties that may affect mood.

If you plan to take any herbs medicinally, please consult a doctor/natural path first, as herbs can have negative effects if you have certain health care conditions or if they mix with other medications you are already taking.

Cilantro –> In a study done in 2011, researchers used 50, 100 and 200mg/kg of Coriander (Cilantro in seed form) and compared it with using 0.5mg of Diazepam. At doses of 100 and 200mg/kg the coriander produced anti-anxiety effects similar to diazepam.

Access the study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195130/

Another study found that Corriander was helpful in prolonging sleep without a neurotoxic effect.

Access abstract of the study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21988208

Rosemary –> Rosemary can help your memory.
It is also known to be an aphrodisiac. :)

This study found that smelling rosemary oil to increase memory by up to 75%! Now that’s impressive. The study was done by a team of psychologists at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

66 healthy adults partcipated. Half were placed in a rosemary scented room (4 drops placed in an aroma stream fan dispenser), half were in an unscented room. 

The result was that the participants in the rosemary scented room scored higher in memory test and tasks than those in the room with no scent. 

This article further explains the research:
http://roberttisserand.com/2013/04/new-rosemary-memory-research/

This article also talks about how rosemary can be used to improve memory, as well it has links to the research:
http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2014/02/scientists-find-sniffing-rosemary-can-increase-memory-by-75.html

Cumin –> Improves memory and helps to relieve stress.

A study was by Muhammad Shahdaat Bin Sayeed, a lecturer in the department of pharmacy at the University of Asia Pacific in Bangladesh.

He studied black cumin (also known as black seed) with 20 men who took 2, 500mg capsules of black cumin daily. They found that after 9 weeks of taking the capsules, their memory, cognition, and attention  were “markedly better” than the 20 men who took the placebo.

To check out the article from Prevention that talks further about this research, click the link below:http://www.prevention.com/health/brain-games/new-memory-booster

Tumeric –> Increases mood.
(It’s also a good thing to put on cuts and bruises and some claim that it replaces the need for a tetanus shot if you cut yourself with glass/metal.)

 In a study done on  mice, tumeric appeared to be an effective anti-depressant.

In the study, tumeric was shown to increase serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine! As well it was shown to inhibit monoamine oxidase activity in the mouse brain, which is the same thing MOA anti-depressants do. 

Access the abstact of the study here:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299905006230

***

So my conclusion is that, I love herbs and spices. But when it comes to using them to increase my mood… I would probably go for supplement form so I can get a regular dosage.

The research is there to prove them to be effective, but the research is still fairly slim for the pickings.

In the future, look forward to an article about 5-HTP and other supplements/vitamins that have been shown to improve mood.

Please let me know if you have any experience using herbs to help your mood! What has worked? What hasn’t? I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Choose Happy

Can we choose to be happy? 

If we aren’t making choices based on our happiness, what are we basing our choices on and why?

Happiness can be a choice; however, depression isn’t. Depression is a disease. This is a nondebatable fact. Depression is real, just like diabeties is real.

I will talk more about depression in future posts. The depression end of our mood spectrum is not the one I wish to focus on. I want to focus on happiness because that’s what we all want more of!

In this post about choosing to be happy I make exception for people who are experiencing a major depression. If you are clinically depressed, simply choosing to be happy is probably not the primary option for you.

However, doing your best to choose happiness, along with getting treatment is a great choice! When we have problems, often times the more angles we tackle them from, the better the outcome.

Brain chemistry, gentetics, a history of trama or abuse, a high stress lifestyle, low self esteem, high anxiety, and perfectionism are only a few  things that can make “choosing happy” more of a challenge.

In the same breath, the last thing anyone needs to feel if they are depressed is that it is their fault for not choosing happiness.

Depression is not your fault.

If you do not have clinical depression and you want to be happier, you probably can follow some suggestions on this site and in this post to improve your overall general mood. :)

In  the following article, Deepak Chopra writes about how we can and why we should choose the happier life.

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Why-Choice-Is-the-Way-to-Happiness-Deepak-Chopra