Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions in the world, and they are on the rise. Anxiety and depression affect at least 6% of adults in the United States – or 1 in 17 – with twice as many women as men affected, and it occurs across all ages.1,2
When we are depressed or anxious, we naturally resist self-care, including preparing and eating nutritious food. But good nutrition is more important than ever for those suffering from depression. Research shows that our daily food choices influence our mental health, and evidence is strong that seafood is brain food.
Feelings of anxiety and stress can be eased by regular consumption of fish.3,4
Remember, improving nutrition takes time. When we change our diet, it can take several weeks to feel any significant improvement. Other types of self-care are important, too, such as physical activity, getting fresh air, connecting with friends and family, rest and sleep.
It is important to remember that our daily food choices influence our mental health as much as other self care such as physical activity, connecting with friends and family, and sleep. And the evidence is strong that seafood is brain food.
1 World Health Organization. Depression and other common mental disorders: Global health estimates. Geneva, Switzerland. 2017.
2 Brody DJ, Pratt LA, Hughes J. Prevalence of depression among adults aged 20 and over: United States, 2013-2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 303. National Center for Health Statistics. 2018.
3 Larrieu T, Layé S. Food for mood: Relevance of nutritional omega-3 fatty acids for depression and anxiety. Front Physiol, 2018;9:1047.
4 Su KP, et al. Association of Use of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids With Changes in Severity of Anxiety Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open, 2018; 1(5):e182327