Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Recipe for Happiness- Go Fishing

Got the blues? Need a little happiness lift? Eat your omega -3 fatty acids or fish that is! When we think of eating fish we think of heart health but fish high in omega-3 fatty acids also appears to help with mild forms of depression. Studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids may help alleviate some of the symptoms of mild depression. When subjects were given omega-3 supplements along with their anti depressants there was a slight improvement in mood. Furthermore omega-3 fatty acids appear to be helpful with attention deficit disorder.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health. The body does not produce omega-3 so we must get them from our diet. Salmon and other cold water fish are an excellent source as well as flax seed oil and bean oils. I preferred flax seed oil as the fish oil gives me an after taste.

But can that little pink salmon sliver of essential goodness really bring us happiness? Well just ask a bear during salmon season or river dwelling people who have depended upon the salmon’s return each year.

Salmon typically (depending upon the particular species) spend one to five years in the open ocean where they sexually mature. Then they make the great migration back to their birth place to spawn. The exact understanding of how they do this is not fully understood but scientist believes it has to do with their keen sense of smell. Seems the olfactory system (sense of smell) locks into the memory system the exact route back home.

Now that’s a happy thought for someone like me who has no sense of direction. If I could just smell my way home I wouldn’t need to learn how to use that navigation system. I could be anywhere, anytime and simply smell my way back. Now I wonder; if I eat lots of salmon will I improve my smell brain and thus my sense of direction?

So tonight I decide to make salmon for dinner and give it a test. Will the thought and the smell of fresh poached salmon send my husband running home with amorous thoughts? Would it make us spawn? No that’s another thought – let’s just stick with happiness.

Ancient mythology tells us that Salmon was associated with wisdom and venerability. In Celtic mythology fish and more specifically salmon were consulted for their wisdom and eaten so that the wisdom would be imparted upon the hero. It was believed that the Salmon ate the nine hazelnuts of wisdom, the primary source of wisdom in Celtic lore. The Salmon is associated with prophecy and inspiration because of its ability to find it distance spawning grounds.

The Salmon’s flesh is pink, although sometimes white. The Atlantic salmon tends to be farm raised where the Pacific salmon tends to be wild. I live on the Pacific Ocean which makes me only too happy to eat the salmon on the West Coast. Artificial chemicals do affect mood.

Pink is a color that has a soothing effect. It is said to reduce anxiety, calm frazzled nerves and relieve stress. Pink is emotionally comforting. It makes us feel happy. Eat Salmon and be happy!
Doctor Lynn

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