A Jewish Mom's Omega 3 Testimonial


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Photo courtesy of Flickr.com user gwilmore

In 1993, Shula and I were roommates and dear buddies when we studied together for a year at Jerusalem’s Pardes Institute. After that tremendously fantastic and exciting year for me of falling in love with Israel, the Torah, and my boyfriend (now husband), Shula moved back to New York to start medical school, and I remained in Israel…After that, Shula and I lost touch for 17 years, until Shula found a link and we reconnected through this blog. Isn’t that wonderful? (I cannot tell you how many incredible blessings in my life have come through connecting with moms through this blog. Thank you Hashem for creating the internet and enabling and inspiring me to create JewishMom.com!).

6 years a nutritionist advised me to eat a tablespoon of ground linseeds in my oatmeal every morning, and I have religiously done so every morning since. At the time, the nutritionist stated mysteriously, “Linseeds are really good for mothers.” Now I understand why.

Here is Shula’s personal amazing account of how linseeds and Omega 3 helped her to overcome anxiety during a phenomenally stressful period of her life…

Just about five years ago, when I was nursing my then four month-old, I decided to add flax seeds to my morning oatmeal because I’d heard that “omega-3s” were good for babies and that flax was a good source. After a few months of steadily increasing the amount of flax, I arrived at work and was so noticeably calmer than usual, that a colleague even commented on it. At that point, I walked over to a computer and googled “omega-3 and anxiety” and discovered a trove of studies demonstrating CLEAR benefits.

If this sounds like one more anecdote citing help from a supplement, what I left out is that my husband had moved out the week earlier. I had spent that week distraught and overwhelmed. Before I made the connection between flaxseed and my mental health, I even considered the possibility that I’d used up my lifetime allotment for stress. (I know, if only….) In case you’re suspicious that my husband’s moving out was what alleviated my depression, the answer is a resounding NO. Full-time working and single parenting of an infant (however wonderful he is – and he IS!) is an incredibly stressful combination….

Baruch Hashem, life is smoother these days. Flax is my medication. My now five year-old has a calmer mother. He even reminds me to make sure I finish my “dose” if I’m running late in the morning….

How much to take? I grind my flaxseed fresh every morning – highly recommended due to waning potency over a week in the refrigerator. Somewhere between one teaspoon and two tablespoons is likely to work, with studies showing a person’s whole-body deficit taking weeks to months to replace before the anti-anxiety/depressive effect kicks in. (I was on for three months before I saw an effect. Also eliminated menstrual cramps….)

Google Omega-3′s and see for yourself!

A major caveat: My good friend who noticed my dramatic change in mood figured she should try it too, even though she was well-treated on Prozac. Within a week, she was deeply depressed. Clearly, Prozac worked for her, and the depression quickly lifted when she cut out the flax. So if you’re taking medication, please work with your mental health care provider if you are considering trying this….
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