The connection between the foods we eat and how we feel is not anything new, however, recent studies are showing great promise that they can have a far greater effect than previously thought.
In particular, omega-3 fatty acids have taken on a starring role as the darling of nutritional based headlines recently, and with good reason.
In a recent study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, it was demonstrated that extra daily doses of omega-3 fatty acids decreased symptoms of inattention in boys with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (1)
Improvements in attention, memory and focus with increased omega-3
Boys ranging in ages from 8 to 14 years old participated in the clinical trial, with their parents rating their son’s attention spans for the 16 week duration of the study. It was found that the boys who received extra omega-3 fatty acid supplementation showed improvements in attention more than the boys who received a placebo.
In another study published in 2012, subjects who had omega-3 fatty acid supplementation demonstrated improvements in memory, focus and mood. (2)
Even the American Psychiatric Association agrees, as their treatment recommendations regarding omega-3 fatty acids dovetails with the evidence that it is an effective treatment in managing depression. (3)
In another exciting large study, with 22,000 participants, it was found that those who took omega-3 fatty acid rich cod liver oil had a 30 percent less chance of having symptoms of depression compared to those who did not take it. (4)
According to the International Review of Psychiatry, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids “appears to alleviate ADHD-related symptoms in at least some children, and one study of DCD children also found benefits for academic achievement.” (5)
Further research is warranted, given these promising developments.
In the meantime, here are some natural foods you can use to supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids: (6)
- Flaxseed oil
- Fish oils
- Chia seeds
- Fresh basil
It is generally considered that two servings of fatty fish per week are enough to meet the recommended dosage of omega-3 fatty acids. If this is not something that appeals to you, you can reach the same level of supplementation with roughly 400 to 500 milligrams per day of combined EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). (7)
Antonia is a science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition. She has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. Read more by Antonia here, and SUBSCRIBE!
Sources for this article include: