Our brains are mostly derived from food. Over the last 50 years we have seen dramatic alterations to what we eat, how food is processed and refined, food additives, the use of pesticides and even an alteration intensive farming has had on animal fats. These changes to our diets over recent years mean that the nutritional content we consume daily is very different to even our closest ancestors.
The essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 make up 20% of the fat in our brains, the term “essential” is used to describe these as they cannot be made within the body, so must be consumed within our diets. These fatty acids each perform vital functions in the way brain cells are structured, making sure communication with the brain is a s smooth as possible.
Experts suggest that most people consuming “western diets” are consuming more Omega-6 than Omega-3. With both fatty acids being found in equal amounts in the brain, it is implicated that consuming unequal amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 can be a part of metal health issues, including depression, and concentration and memory problems.
Eating Fish for Depression
Depression is a common mental condition.
It’s characterised by low mood, sadness, lethargy, and loss of interest in life and activities.
Although it isn’t discussed nearly as much as heart disease or obesity, depression is currently one of the world’s biggest health problems.
According to healthline.com Studies have found that regular fish eaters are less likely to become depressed. A number of trials have also shown that Omega-3 may fight depression and increase the effectiveness of antidepressant medication. Fish and Omega-3 may also help combat other mental conditions such as bipolar disorder!
Fish and Brain Health
Brain function often declines with ageing. Whilst this is normal, their are also serious neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers exist.
Observational studies have shown that eating fish can slow mental decline. Studies also show that people who eat fish weekly have more grey matter (the brains main major functional tissue) in the parts of the brain that control emotion and memory!
National Opinion Poll Findings (courtesy of www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ ):
- Women report eating healthy foods, including fresh vegetables, fruit or fruit juice and meals made from scratch, more often than men, who tend to eat more takeaways and ready meals.
- Younger people report eating less healthy foods (fresh fruit and vegetables, organic foods and meals made from scratch) and more unhealthy foods (chips and crisps, chocolate, ready meals and takeaways) than older people.
- 29% of 15-24 year olds report eating a meal made from scratch every day, compared with 50% of those aged over 65.
- Younger people are more likely than older people to report daily mental health problems, as are those in social class DE, those on a lower income, those who are not in paid employment and those who are not married.
- Nearly two thirds of those who do not report daily mental health problems eat fresh fruit or fruit juice every day, compared with less than half of those who do report daily mental health problems.
- This pattern is similar for fresh vegetables and salad. Those who report some level of mental health problem also eat fewer healthy foods (fresh fruit and vegetables, organic foods and meals made from scratch) and more unhealthy foods (chips and crisps, chocolate, ready meals and takeaways).
You can find our Omega-3 rich products here: https://www.regalfish.co.uk/seafood/oil-rich-fish/
And for more reading material on the links between diet and metal health: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/FeedingMinds_exec_summary.pdf