Here are some great tips for beating the blues.
Exercising. Regular physical activity has been found to work better than antidepressant drugs. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful strategies available to prevent and treat depression and boost your mood.
Going to sleep early. You were designed to go to sleep when the sun sets and wake up when the sun rises. If you stray too far from this biological pattern you will disrupt delicate hormonal cycles in your body, which can affect both your mood and your health. The link between depression and lack of sleep is well established.
While there are individual differences, as a general rule, you’ll want to aim for about eight hours of sleep per night.
Avoiding processed foods. A factor that cannot be overlooked is your diet. Foods have an immense impact on your mood and ability to cope, and eating a diet of fresh, whole foods will best support your mental health.
Refined sugar and processed fructose are known to have a very detrimental impact on your brain function and mental health in general.
Cutting out artificial sweeteners will also eliminate your chances of suffering their toxic effects.
Optimizing your gut health. Fermented foods such as fermented vegetables are also important for optimal mental health, as they are key for optimizing your gut health. Many fail to realize that your gut is literally your second brain, and can significantly influence your mind, mood, and behavior. Your gut actually produces more mood-regulating serotonin than your brain does.
Increasing high-quality omega-3 fats. Your brain consists of about 60 percent fat, DHA specifically, so you need a constant input of essential omega-3 fats for your brain to work properly. In fact, one 2009 study showed that people with lower blood levels of omega-3s were more likely to have symptoms of depression and a more negative outlook while those with higher blood levels demonstrated the opposite emotional states.
- Omega-3 and omega-6 are two types of fat that are essential for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in her diet while consuming very low omega-3 levels. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Our forefathers evolved over millions of years on this ratio. Today, however, our ratio averages from 20:1 to 50:1 – this spells serous dangers to your well-being! In fact, mainstream media has finally reported that lack of omega-3 is among the most serious and pressing health issues plaguing our world.
- Omega-6 is primarily sourced from corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. These are overabundant in the typical diet, which accounts for excess omega-6 levels.
- Omega-6 fats predominate the diet in the US, and this encourages the production of inflammation in your body. Many scientists believe that one reason there is a high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and some cancer forms today is this profound omega-3-omega-6 imbalance.
OMEGA 3 AND 6 SOURCES
Flax Seeds - Not surprisingly, flax tops our list as the best vegetarian source of Omega 3. One ounce of flax seeds packs in 6388mg of Omega 3 (nearly 6 times the RDA). You get 1655mg of Omega 6 in the process, which helps keep your Omega 3 to Omega 6 raios in check. To get an even bigger boost, you can take a tablespoon of flax oil which delivers 7196mg of Omega 3.
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds have only recently gotten mainstream attention (at least beyond use on ceramic “pets”) – and it is long overdue! A single ounce of chia seeds packs in 4915mg of Omega 3 but just 1620mg of Omega 6. They are also loaded with calcium (1oz=18% RDA), fiber, and manganese.
Hemp Seeds – Hemp seeds have a great Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. One ounce of the seeds will provide 1100 Omega 3 and 2700 Omega 6.
Seaweed – Seaweeds not only have fairly high amounts of Omega 3, but they are also one of the only vegan foods which also have EPA and DHEA. Spirulina (58mg Omega 3, 88mg Omega 6 per tablespoon) is one of the best choices.
Beans – Beans don’t have as much Omega 3 as seeds or nuts. However, they still can help you meet your RDAs all while avoiding excess Omega 6. Mungo beans — aka Urad Dal — are by far the best choice with 603mg Omega 3 and just 43mg Omega 6 in one cup cooked (not to be confused with mung beans). French beans and navy beans are also good choices. To really get the most out of these super foods, sprout them first!
Winter squash – Winter squash is a surprisingly good source of Omega 3, with 338mg per cup cooked – and you’ll only get 203mg of Omega 6.
Leafy Greens – To meet calcium and iron RDAs, vegetarians should be loading up on leafy greens. It turns out that greens are also a decent source of Omega 3 too. A cup of cooked spinach has 352mg of Omega 3 with only negligible amounts of Omega 6. Broccoli, collards, kale and grape leaves are also good sources of Omega 3.
Cabbage Family – Vegetables in the cabbage family have a surprising amount of Omega 3. Cauliflower is the most notable with 208mg Omega 3 and just 62mg of Omega 6 per cup, cooked. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are also good choices. Greens in the cabbage family are also a great bioavailable source of calcium.
Berries – Berries are not only good sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but they also are also a good vegetarian source of Omega 3. Blueberries top the list with 174mg of Omega 3 per 1 cup serving while simultaneously only delivering 259mg of Omega 6.
Wild Rice – Wild rice should be a staple for all vegetarians and vegans. One cup cooked delivers lots of iron, protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. You’ll also get 156mg Omega 3 while only taking in 195mg of Omega 6.
Herbs and Spices – Virtually all popular herbs and spices have a great Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. Cloves are one of the best at 86mg/52mg per 2 grams, as is oregano (73mg/18mg), marjoram (49mg/18mg), and tarragon (44mg/11mg). You probably aren’t going to meet your RDAs for Omega 3 on herbs and spices alone, but the added nutrition is a good reason to make your foods more flavorful.
Mangoes – Mangoes are one of my all-time favorite foods. These succulent citruses pack in 77mg of Omega 3s per fruit. They are one of the few vegetarian sources of Omega 3 which actually have less Omega 6 than Omega 3 (just 29mg per fruit).
Honeydew Melon – A cup of honeydew melon balls delivers 58mg of Omega 3. Like with mangoes, it also has less Omega 6 than Omega 3 (46mg!).
- God’s Way to Health is not licensed as, or designed to be, a healthcare facility; therefore we do not diagnose conditions, offer medical advice, or prescribe or administer medication.
- The nutrition and health information resented at the God’s Way to Health Web Site is based on Scripture, research and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only.
- There can be risks involved when changing diet and lifestyle; therefore, as each guest chooses to make these types of changes, we at God’s Way to Health cannot be held responsible or liable for any adverse effects or consequences that may result from your personal choices.