Brain Waves with Debra Rose

A Sea of Happiness

More than ever, we can all use a little boost in our mood.  Healthy habits such as exercising, consuming more local, fresh food, keeping stress levels at bay, sleeping enough each night, and staying socially connected all hold the keys to the kingdom of our mental and physical wellness.  These rituals hold the power to heal and manage our brains and bodies, especially through our dietary choices.

Depression is increasing in this country across all demographics.  While the catalysts are many, a universal culprit is the food we are eating.  An accessible way to fight off feeling depressed is to reduce the harmful foods we are consuming while increasing those that are more beneficial.

We hear a lot about inflammation these days, the chronic kind within the body beyond the acute variety that results from injuring a limb.  Latin for “set afire,” inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect against harm.  A cuisine loaded with unhealthy processed foods loaded with fatty acids are hurting us physically and bringing down our mood.  The body and brain cannot stay in a perpetual state of battle when we eat more sugar at saturated fat, carry fat cells around the organs, inhale cigarette smoke, maintain a state of elevated stress, lack sleep, and embrace a sedentary routine.

Omega 3’s to the Rescue: During a time when moods are quite volatile and on the descent, the solution may be found on our plate.  Omega 3’s cannot be made by the body; they are essentials fatty acids derived from the food we eat.  Omega-3’s fatty acids are known to boost your dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good chemicals in our brains that correlate to feeling less depressed.  Wild Salmon, Atlantic mackerel, cod, sardines, anchovies, herring, oysters, striped bass, even pollock are supercharged with Omega-3’s.  Other seafood sources high in Omega-3’s but also mercury can be found in tile fish, shark, swordfish, bluefish and big eye tuna, so sample in moderation.

In addition to fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, green leafy vegetables and soybeans are vegan options to multiply your happy brain chemicals.  It’s easy to incorporate the plant-based and pescatarian options in a town known as a seafood and fishing capital.  With so much abundance, start adding fish to your salad, tacos, and meals on the grill.

Overall lifestyle changes in addition to bolstering your Omerga-3 intake can elevate your mood and reduce your inflammation.  Exercise and sleep more, reduce your stress, stay social, maintaining a healthy weight, and eat whole, natural foods.

Our little town with a fishing problem is brimming with seafood that can make you happier, and healthier.  The choice is yours.