How to help improve your mental health
Do a cursory study of fish oil and you’ll notice a trend when it comes to mental health: fish oils help on various fronts, from depression to cognitive decline.
Many progressive mental health professionals are even “prescribing” diets high in fish or fish oil supplements to their patients, either as an adjunct to prescription meds or as a pre-drug intervention. While we can’t say fish oil is the “cure” for anything, we can certainly say it helps minimise existing symptoms and perhaps prevent future problems.
A recent study also looked at omega-3s and the effects of stress. Stress and the associated inflammation and cortisol spike it causes are obviously not good for physical or mental health.
In the study, those taking 2.5 grams of omega-3s were able to suppress the damage caused by a stressful event, decreasing cortisol and a certain pro-inflammatory protein by 19% and 33%, respectively. We can’t stop stress from happening, but fish oil does seem to reduce the negative effects of that stress.
Along with the anti-inflammatory benefits, omega-3 fatty acids may help with cognitive disorders by increasing cell permeability. That’s good news because this permeability allows serotonin – the “feel good” chemical that carries messages around your brain – to more easily pass through brain cell membranes.
Finally, low-T is associated with depressive symptoms, and omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your testosterone levels optimized.
If you need a plant based source, most online supplement providers now supply an alternative source of Omega-3’s for you to consume.
New studies show that creatine seems to help with depression or “depressed mood.” While most studies have been done on those with major depressive disorders and even drug addiction (people with altered brain bioenergetics), it’s not a leap to say that regular creatine usage could play a role in improving or preserving brain health.
Creatine supplementation has even been shown to increase mental sharpness and brain efficiency when performing strenuous mental tasks, at least in people who initially had low levels of creatine.
The best part is that’s its usually very cheap and you only need around 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day which you can either mix in a drink or take as a tablet….No it wont make you bulky and isn’t a steroid! It’s the most researched supplement on the planet so you’re quite safe!
How does it do that? Well, chronic inflammation has been unequivocally linked to depression and other mental issues. Curcumin helps keep excess inflammation at bay by scavenging the free radicals that create it. Other research is looking into treating schizophrenia with curcumin. And curcumin has even been shown to improve your working memory.
Sadly you can’t eat enough turmeric to get the daily requirement’s and even if you could…would you want to?? Find a supplement online with good reviews about ‘bioavailability’ (how good the source is) and start supplementing with the recommended amount on the box.
Conversely, depressive symptoms got worse when they stopped training. And it happened fast too. For some, the depressive symptoms were measurably worse after just 3 days of stopping their workouts. For others it took a couple of weeks. While men were affected too, it was worse for women in the study.
The takeaway? Exercise isn’t always about what you achieve in the moment it can also be about laying the foundations for happy and stable mood. Placing yourself in the best possible position, both physically and mentally to deal with whatever life throws at you.
If you need help getting back into a routine or with guidance on any of the above to help kickstart your journey, then get in touch today.