This is a curated list of the best fish oils for anxiety. Each of the items mentioned here has a beneficial effect on mental health as well as physical health. Our blog also cites research to confirm the anxiolytic properties of these fish oils.
What are the Best Fish Oils for Anxiety?
The best fish oils and fish oil supplements you can take for anxiety are:
- Salmon Oil
- Cod Liver Oil
- Nordic Fish Oil
- Krill Oil
- Herring Oil
- Anchovy Oil
- Mackerel Oil
- Tuna Oil
- Sardine Oil
- Alaskan Pollock Oil
- Nature Made Fish Oil Burp-Less
- Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil
- Solimo Fish Oil
- Barlean’s Fresh Catch Fish Oil
- Arazo Nutrition Fish Oil
Top Fish Oils for Anxiety
In this section, we will describe the best kinds of fish oil that help with anxiety. We picked our favourite products for each of these items. You can try these or any of the several other ones available online. Either way, your body and mind will be thankful for this dietary change.
The top fish oils for anxiety are:
In 2014, a team of researchers found that long-term dietary intervention using Atlantic salmon significantly reduced anxiety in subjects. They investigated the effects of consumption of salmon oil on underlying biological mechanisms associated with anxiety. These included physiological measures such as heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate.
Salmon oil comes with loads of health advantages, which is why it is a highly sought after dietary supplement. It can prevent inflammation, improve blood flow, support foetal development, and is good for the skin and eyes.
Another such study done back in 2007 found similar results for cod liver oil on symptoms of depression and anxiety. This team wanted to check whether the oil, rich in omega-3, could help with neurotransmitter regulation. They measured these symptoms using The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
Their findings indicated a negative association between the regular use of cod liver oil and high levels of depressive symptoms. So if you are dealing with anxiety or its common comorbidity depression, add cod liver oil to your staples.
The Nordic diet has been established to have a negative association with symptoms of depression and anxiety. This diet includes the regular intake of Nordic fish oil. Many brands have capitalised on this information and started selling Nordic fish oil capsules.
But, Nordic Naturals is a brand with published research backing its product’s effectiveness. Their fish oil supplement has been proven to reduce anxiety, especially in people with a history of substance abuse.
It is safe to say that regular intake of krill oil is excellent for mental health and more people should be consuming it. Krill oil can also help with physical health by lowering cholesterol, swelling, and blood clotting.
A scientific investigation revealed that fish oil containing herring oil was successful in lowering anxiety in pregnant women. It is a substance that is safe to eat for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Other than lowering anxiety, it can also help with many physical conditions. As it is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, it can regulate heart function and does wonders for foetal development. Herring oil is rarely sold separately and usually comes as a mix of many fish oils.
Another oily fish is the anchovy, which is more popular for its use in salads and sandwiches. According to this scientific review, anchovy oil is one of the few rich and natural sources of docosahexaenoic acid, also known as DHA.
DHA is a fatty acid abundant in brain cell membranes. It contributes to the normal development of neural and retinal tissues throughout human life. A deficiency of DHA is linked to neuropathology, which includes anxiety. Start consuming more anchovy oil to prevent this.
Mackerel is a common name for pelagic fish belonging to the Scombridae family. These are highly nutritious fish as they provide us with protein and essential fatty acids. This nutritional guide to reducing stress and anxiety recommends the consumption of mackerel to prevent anxiety disorders.
Eating mackerel often can also help you recover from fatigue, improve stamina, and get better skin. If you don’t want to eat the fish meat, these capsules can deliver the same benefits without it.
A distant relative of the mackerels is the tuna, a saltwater fish generally used in sandwiches, salads, cutlets, and curries. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in this fish can reduce levels of other bodily fats that cause heart disease.
As we’ve mentioned several times earlier, these good fatty acids also play a role in anxiety prevention and treatment. This 2011 study even demonstrated that tuna oil supplements can improve cognitive functions. What better reason to try these tuna fish softgels!
Also called pilchards, sardines are mostly seen as smelly fish stacked into cans, mostly used as bait. While some people enjoy the taste of sardines, it’s definitely not a universal favourite.
However, since sardines are oily fish, they are used to make omega-3 supplements like this one. This nutrition review found a relationship between omega-3 sources like sardines and the prevention of depression and anxiety. Maybe that should change your mind about including sardines in your diet.
This fish gets its name because it is widely distributed in the North Pacific Ocean and densely concentrated around the Bering Sea. The Alaskan pollock is popular in healthy diets because it is high in lean protein and low in saturated fat. It also provides us with Vitamin B12, phosphorous, and selenium.
A recent Indian study revealed an association between Vitamin B12 deficiency and anxiety. Since the Alaskan pollock gives at least two nutrients that fight anxiety, you might want to consider eating these capsules.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Other Fish Oil Supplements for Anxiety
Now that we’ve discussed the best types of fish oils, let us introduce you to some products that combine their goodness. Below are the best fish oil supplements that were designed taking into consideration the consumer experience:
Here is a power pack of 320 softgels that contain no added colour, flavour, or gluten. Since the recommended dosage is two a day, it will last you for five and a half months. These pills are sized slightly larger than a penny and contain 300mg of DHA and EPA.
Both of these are essential fatty acids that improve your physical and mental health. Nature Made’s fish oil softgels will not cause burping like some other products. They’ve also been purified to remove mercury.
Fish oil capsules by Nature’s Bounty are a favourite among online reviewers. They come with the benefits of anchovy, mackerel, and sardine oil. These pills are non-GMO, free of shellfish, and have no artificial flavours.
Since they’re unflavoured, they contain no sugar or sweeteners. Nor do they have any gluten. If you’re worried about milk or nut allergies, you can take these without a second thought. Take two a day with meals to lower your anxiety.
Solimo is an Amazon brand, which makes some buyers sceptical. But you can try these for yourself and if unsatisfied, you get a full refund within a year of purchase. These softgels contain fish oils derived from anchovies and sardines.
The pack contains 250 units with 1000 mg of fish oil per serving. That’s quite a generous amount per pill as compared to competing products. Each batch has been tested for heavy metals, artificial flavours, colours, gluten, and lactose.
Barlean’s was established back in 1989 and their tagline is “Pathway to a Better Life”. You can jump onto this pathway with these fish oil softgels. This bottle contains 250 units that are orange-flavoured so you need not worry about a fishy aftertaste.
The oils in these pills come from anchovies, sardines, and mackerels. The EPA and DHA from them is of pharmaceutical grade, non-GMO, and gluten-free. The makers are Barlean’s recommend a daily dosage of 2-6 softgels with meals.
US-made and certified by Marin Trust, these capsules from Arazo Nutrition deliver the benefits of anchovy oil. They are lemon-flavoured and made from 100% wild ocean catch. If you’re concerned about the environment, the manufacture of these pills is sustainable and traceable.
They are certified as Friend of the Seas and Dolphin Safe. Each bottle contains 120 softgels and need to be taken thrice a day with meals. Each pill gives you 1200 mg of EPA, 900 mg of DHA, and 150 mg of other omega-3 fatty acids.
This was a curated list of the best fish oils for anxiety. Each of the items mentioned here has a beneficial effect on mental health as well as physical health. Our blog also cited research to confirm the anxiolytic properties of these fish oils.
The fish oils that will help with you anxiety are Salmon Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Nordic Fish Oil, Krill Oil, Herring Oil, Anchovy Oil, Mackerel Oil, Tuna Oil, Sardine Oil, Alaskan Pollock Oil, Nature Made Fish Oil Burp-Less, Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil, Solimo Fish Oil, Barlean’s Fresh Catch Fish Oil, and Arazo Nutrition Fish Oil.
FAQs (Best Fish Oil for Anxiety)
How much fish oil should I take for anxiety?
You can take a daily dosage of anything between 200-2200 mg of fish oil per day for anxiety. However, if you have a mood disorder, it’s better to take a higher dose of fish oil supplements.
Can fish oil make anxiety worse?
If you stick to the recommended dosage specified by trusted sources like a doctor or nutritionist, this is unlikely to happen. Most of the research on the topic only talks about the benefits of fish oil. So, to avoid this possibility, only take as much fish oil a day as is established safe.
Does Omega-3 calm you down?
As previously cited throughout this article, it has been found that omega-3 fatty acids do have an improving effect on anxiety. It can help you calm down by improving nutrition and digestion. This promotes homeostasis and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the antithesis of anxiety.