Iceland is known to have the lowest depression rates in world. To you and I, that might seem kind of odd because Iceland is cold and dark for half of the year. During the winter in parts of North America, a significant amount of people complain about the cold and dark, which causes them to be very moody and SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder).
So what’s different about the people of Iceland that makes them so much more resilient to the winter blues? As a nutritionist, of course I have to ask – could it have anything to do with what they eat?
According to Dr. Daphne Miller, the doctor who researched Iceland’s phenomenon of low depression rates and the author of The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets In The World – Why They Work And How To Make Them Work For You , found that Icelanders eat the most mood boosting Omega 3’s including:
- cold-water fish – 225lbs per person a year (such as cod)
- pastured livestock
- wild game
- organ meats from pastured animals
- grass fed cheeses
- grass fed yogurt
Depression is a complicated matter resulting from many things. Regardless, it’s difficult to deny Iceland’s consumption of Omega 3 rich fish and other high sources of Omega 3’s and their correlation to low depression rates. It’s the one of many physiological factors that Dr. Daphne Miller and many other scientists know to be true:
“Your chances of warding off depression and seasonal affective disorder will increase if you consume more Omega 3’s.”
What can you do?
Take Cod Liver Oil daily from the brands listed in this Weston A. Price Foundation post which also provides the amounts needed per day depending on age and weight. It’s more of a food than it is a supplement and many Scandinavian countries ’till this day take 1 to 2 tsp of it daily.
Other high food sources of Omega 3’s include:
- Sustainable Fish (SeaChoice) is a great resource to educate yourself on what to buy and what not to buy. The Omega 3’s from fish and cod liver oil give you the highest absorbability so if you’re not vegan or vegetarian those are the sources to go for first.
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Purslane (My vegan and vegetarian friends should not live without this one)
- Wild Game
- Grass fed beef
- Grass fed butter
- Grass fed cheeses
This link of foods gives you the Omega 3 amount of a whole host foods.
The bottom line is if you suffering from SAD or depression and you saw an Integrative Doctor, he or she would get you on the needed antidepressants but also make it absolutely necessary that you boost your Omega 3 sources of foods.
So eat up!