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Mental Health: Expert Explains How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Control Depression; Know Food Sources

Omega-3 fatty acids are loaded with multiple health benefits. These are extremely beneficial for your heart health. Read here to understand the effect of omega-3 on depression. Also, know best foods to consume and how much.

Mental Health: Expert Explains How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Control Depression; Know Food Sources

Mental health: Foods loaded with omega-3 may help control depression symptoms, explain expert


  1. Diet can help control the risk of depression
  2. Talk to your loved ones whenever you feel sad
  3. Omega-3 is also beneficial in controlling anxiety

Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are quite popular. These are extremely beneficial for your heart health. Adding omega-3 to your diet can boost eye and brain health too. It is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties and leaves an anti-ageing effect on your body. Omega-3 is beneficial for your skin too. Studies have also highlighted the benefits of omega-3 for your mind and body. Not many know that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your mental health. It is specifically beneficial for mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. In this article, you will understand the link between omega-3 fatty acids consumption and mental health.

Benefits of omega-3 for mental health

Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician at Columbia Asia Hospital explains, "Omega-3s are a kind of polyunsaturated fatty acid. EPA form plants and plant oil and DHA found in fish and fish oil are the two omega-3 fatty acids potentially required to benefit people with mood disorders. Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve signs of depression."

Also read: Ways To Fight Depression

Foods rich in omega-3 are-

1. Oily fishes: The long-chain omega-3s in oily fishes may improve learning power and boost memory. It can also reduce inflammation which reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease, depression and other mental health conditions.


Fatty fishes are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Nuts: Walnuts have a high amount of vitamin E that forms a protective layer around the brain cell membranes and ward off free radicals. Almonds and hazelnuts are also heart-healthy nuts.

3. Plant oils such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil and canola oil are also good sources.

Also read: Manage Stress, Anxiety And Depression With These Nutritious Foods

"Nootropics are brain booster. These are drugs or supplements which help to improve cognitive function, memory, creativity or motivation particularly executive functions. These are beneficial for the human brain and control depression. Several food sources like nuts or fish oil can also offer benefits of nootropics," Ms. Raj further adds.


Omega-3 can help controlling symptoms of depression and anxiety
Photo Credit: iStock

She further adds to amount of omega-3 to be added to diet and explain that 1 to 2 g/day of omega-3 is beneficial in preventing depression in adults. This amount can be achieved by consuming good sources of omega-3 such as almonds 6-8 in number (pre-soaked and deskinned), walnuts (unsalted, not fried) 2 pieces per day with 1-2 tsp (10gm) of flax seeds per day. Fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring and chia seeds around 5 gm/day may also provide omega-3.

Also read: 7 Foods That Are Great For Keeping Your Mind Healthy

(Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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