We grow in small steps forwards and backwards. When you’re anxious or depressed, adding even the smallest task can seem daunting. You want to feel better, but everything you have to do to get there seems overwhelming and out of reach.
As I often tell my clients, “All or nothing works for exactly no one.” Try to do everything all at once, a ball will get dropped and you’ll inevitably feel like a failure. Avoid this when integrating healthy nutrition into your mental health care approach. Set yourself up for success by taking things one step at a time.
I talked about some ways to make a few simple changes like drinking more water, avoiding harmful food additives, and adding detoxing foods to your diet in my article Nutrition and Mental Health: Where to Begin.
You can move on to supplementing your nutrition to correct deficiencies related to mental illness. There are a few supplements that can help you on the road to recovery, as you change your eating habits and follow your counselor’s behavioral recommendations.
For two to four weeks, see what supplementing with omega-3 essential fatty acids, B vitamins and probiotics can do for you.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s can help greatly with mental health. These fatty acids are found in fish, nuts, seeds and some whole grains.
Omega-3 fatty acids practice what your counselor preaches: Be flexible and go with the flow. The "3" in omega-3 is essentially the number of hinges in this type of fatty acids. These hinges allow omega-3s to bend in response to pressure, rather than remain rigid.
Saturated fats don’t have these hinges, which makes them very rigid. It’s important to have some saturated fats to allow our structure to stand up for themselves, but it’s also essential to have omega-3s dispersed throughout the body to provide flexibility. Going with the flow and not being reactive is key for mental health, all the way down to the molecular level.
When looking for an omega-3 supplement — or any supplement — look for one that logistically fits into your life.