After the drivers had eaten a fish-filled diet, another hired actor tried to stress them out. After this second stressful experience, lab tests on the cabbies' systems showed a 22-percent reduction in cortisol, the hormone that measures the amount of stress the body is feeling. Dr. Oz says there was also a 12 percent reduction in some of the other stress hormones, including DHEA, as well as a 25 percent improvement in their memory.
"Our body is responding to the facts that it gets inside it, and when the liver sees trans fats and saturated fats … it sees inflammation. It doesn't like that, and it gets you jazzed up to respond aggressively," he says. "But when it sees omega-3 fatty acids, it feels calm."
While many people take antianxiety pills to combat stress-related symptoms, Dr. Oz says this is a short-term solution for most people. "Sometimes you need medication. Sometimes you need help. I'm not against that," he says. "But I think we are too quick to cop out and say, 'You know what? Give me the pill,' instead of realizing we can actually get our body to be better equipped to defend itself, especially against stress, because the only time you don't have any stress is when you're dead."
If you don't like to eat fish, Dr. Oz suggests other sources of omega-3 acids—including flaxseeds, eggs, walnuts or plankton.