While many doctors reactively prescribe antidepressants to treat patients suffering from depression, it is important that you understand that there are more effective natural food alternatives.
Through rat experiments, scientists discovered both omega-3 fatty acids and uridine (a natural substance found in foods) work just as well as antidepressants in preventing signs of depression. To draw this conclusion, scientists:
Placed rats in a tank of water where they had no choice but to swim.
As time passed, the rats realized swimming was useless and began to float -- a sign of surrender to depression. Yet when given an antidepressant drug, the rats resumed swimming.
When the rats were given combined doses of omega-3 fatty acids and uridine instead of antidepressants, similar behavior occurred -- lending evidence these natural components are equally effective as drugs.
Drugs and dietary components responsible for the reversed signs of depression most likely affect mitochondria (which produce energy) in brain cells.
Finding Omega-3 and Uridine
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, and most abundantly in oily species like salmon and tuna. It is highly recommended to eat a diet rich in oily fish, as omega-3 fatty acids are also good for the circulatory system -- what is good for the heart is good for the brain. Additionally, uridine is an important element found in mother's milk and baby formula and is essential for early nerve growth.
Biological Psychiatry February 15, 2005;57(4):343-350
This study is merely one of many recent studies that have demonstrated the beneficial value of omega-3 fats in treating depression.
As the article states, the best type of omega-3 fats are those found in fish. This is because the omega-3 in fish is high in two animal based omega-3 fats that are crucial to human health: DHA and EPA. Unfortunately though, eating most fresh fish, whether from the ocean, lakes and streams, or farm-raised, is no longer recommended. Why? Because mercury levels in almost all fish have now hit dangerously high levels across the world, and the risk of this mercury to your health now outweighs the fish's omega-3 benefits.
However, because fish would otherwise be immensely healthy, I have been searching for a safe source of fish -- and finally discovered one: The Vital Choice Alaskan Wild Red Salmon offered on this site is the one source of salmon or any fish that I found to be, via independent lab testing, safe from mercury and other toxins. Also, the Vital Choice salmon is loaded with beneficial omega-3s and tastes absolutely delicious!
Krill Oil to Improve Mental (and Physical) Health
Routine consumption of krill oil is another highly recommended method of increasing your omega-3 intake and improving your mental and physical health.
Finally, Dr. Stoll's book, The Omega-3 Connection, is an excellent resource for those that need more detailed information on this topic. Dr. Stoll is a Harvard psychiatrist who has done a great job of compiling the evidence supporting the use of fish oils for depression.