In researching why the mental health records from Japan (.07%) show such low rates of bipolarin comparison with that of the US (4.4%-which is the highest rate of bipolar in the world!) diet was singled out as the biggest difference. Because the average Japanese person consumes so much fish, in comparison to Americans, the deduction has been made that the all important fish oils, which nurture our brains, is something that Americans may need to get more of. In fact, in the past decade, at least 20 different studies have shown positive correlations between consuming fish oil supplements and improved mental health. After reviewing all the data from the studies, the conclusion has been made that there is clear evidence to support the idea that fish oil can reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder as well as psychosis in adolescents. When teenagers from this study were put on a 12 week regimen of fish oil supplements, the results showed that taking the fish oil was on par with taking an anti-psychotic medication. The researchers suggest that the supplements must include BOTH DHA and EPA. If, like me, you don’t eat fish or want to take a fish oil supplement, you can find a vegan version. If that initially sounds crazy to you, it’s important to know that the reason some fish are so abundant in these oils is because they actually get it from eating algae. While there has been a lot of controversy over the effectiveness of fish oils, I recently broke down and started taking them, because for me, when it comes to the brain, I am going to do whatever I can to keep mine healthy. To know that they might help keep my already generally great mood in tact, is just a bonus, but for anyone who has mental health issues, or has a loved one dealing with mental health issues, I would most definitely try a few months of supplementation before getting hooked into the prescription meds. Just my 2 cents.
Get out there and enjoy your weekend! There is actually nothing like fresh air and sunshine to really improve one’s mental health.