How Diet Affects Your Mood & Emotional Well-being

How Diet Affects Your Mood & Emotional Well-being


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Article produced by Louise Infante - - Additional information added by Avianweb


The all-important Omega-3s:

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and are believed to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.

  • Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression.

A study on this subject was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Researchers gave magnetic resonance imaging tests to 55 adults. Participants reported everything they ate for 24 hours on two randomly selected days, says study leader Sarah Conklin, a neuroscientist at University of Pittsburgh Medical School. The more DHA a person consumed, the more gray matter there was in three areas of the brain linked to mood: the amygdala, the hippocampus and the cingulate. Seriously depressed people tend to have less gray matter in these areas.

A follow-up to a previous study, the landmark Framingham study, found that people with high blood levels of DHA cut their risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's, by half.


Sources of Omega-3s:

The best known sources for Omega-3s are fatty fish and fish-oil capsules. However, these fatty acids can also be found in seed oils as they are the richest sources of α-linolenic acid. Notably rapeseed (canola), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed (Linseed oil), clary sage seeds, perilla, chia, and hemp and excellent sources.

A research team from Arizona State University conducted a cross-sectional study to match the mood of vegetarians who never eat fish with the mood of healthy omnivorous adults.

While fish can serve as the major dietary way to obtain the long-chain omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, that have been shown to be important in supporting brain health, low intake of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in vegetarians doesn't adversely affect mood, as stated by a new study (Nutr J. 2010;9:26. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-9-26).

An overall total of 138 healthy Seventh Day Adventist adults living in Arizona and California (64 vegetarians and 79 non-vegetarians) were enrolled in the study and completed a health history questionnaire, food frequency questionnaire and 2 psychometric tests, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and the Profile of Mood States..

Vegetarians had significantly lower mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and also the omega-6 arachidonic acid; they had higher intakes of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and the omega-6 linoleic acid.

However, the vegetarians also reported considerably less negative emotion than omnivores in both psychometric tests. Mean total psychometric scores were positively linked to the mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid, and inversely linked to alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid intake.

The study team noted there is also the possibility that vegetarians may make better dietary choices and could generally be healthier and happier.


Vegetarian recipe with plenty of healthy Omega-3s.:

Italian Spaghetti with Zucchini


 * 17 oz. Spaghetti

 * 24 oz. Of thin sliced zucchini

 * 1 / 2 cup walnuts oil

 * A few basil leaves

 * 2 tablespoons of yeast flakes

 * Salt and pepper

In a large skillet heat the oil and when hot, add garlic and zucchini. Raise the heat and stir often to finish their cooking. They should be golden and crispy outside and tender inside. Cook the pasta, drain and sauté in pan with zucchini, basil and yeast. Serve immediately.

Zucchini contain fewer calories and also have no fat. However they are a good source of potassium, vitamin e, vitamin c, folate, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Many of these nutrients are extremely sensitive to heat and to enjoy their full benefits you need to look for a quick solution to cook or even eat raw in salads.

From the therapeutic viewpoint, zucchini have laxative, refreshing, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and detoxifying action.

About the writer - Louise Infante writes for the vegetarian menu ideas blog , her personal hobby blog centered on vegetarian food preparation tips to help people live better.


Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Important Precautions & Dangers

Foods Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

More Research & Information about Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.



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Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.

GreenAndHealthy.Info strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!