Can fish consumption help ward off depression?

Among other things, several dietary measures can be taken to ward off/fight this disease — fish consumption being one of them. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

What you eat has got a lot to do with how you feel on the inside. A person is considered to be healthy when their mind, body and soul are in sync with each other. And food is nothing but a facilitator. Over the years, there have been several food-related studies that have stressed on the healthy eating and exercising. And yet, an alarming per cent of the world population suffers from various health setbacks.

Among these is depression, which, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) puts it, is a "common mental disorder, characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks."

According to WHO, globally there are about 300 million people of all ages that suffer from depression. This debilitating disease tends to have a long-lasting effect, and if not diagnosed in time, depression may also lead people to commit suicide.

Among other things, several dietary measures can be taken to ward off/fight this disease — fish consumption being one of them.

According to WHO, globally there are about 300 million people of all ages that suffer from depression. (Source: Express Archives)

Why fish?

You do not have to overhaul your diet; if you have previously not been consuming fish, you don’t necessarily have to turn pescatarian now. But you can always be mindful of the benefits of fish.

What they say about comfort foods, holds good for fish. Fish, especially the oily types — like tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, etc. — are great sources of omega-3 fats. Besides strengthening and building connections between brain cells, the omega-3 fats increase the production of serotonin.

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Omega-3 fatty acids

Among other things, these fats help in the relaxation of muscles, in digestion, in the clotting of blood, and in fertility. According to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, people who consume more fish are less likely to experience symptoms of depression.