Bridey Heing
September 14, 2015 7:30 am

A new study out of China has found a correlation between eating one particular food and a reduced risk of depression. That food? Omega-3 acid rich fish.

The study was done at Qingdao University’s Dongfeng Zhang of Medical College. Researchers looked at 26 studies, with about 150,000 participants, to analyze the possible connection between a diet heavy in fish and risk of depression. The studies they used went back to 2001. They found that those who eat more fish were 17% less likely to struggle with depression than those who didn’t eat fish, but only among European diets.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study suggests that one reason why fish could cut the risk of depression is the fatty amino acids in fish, which can impact brain activity. It’s believed that the acids may play a role with dopamine and serotonin, two hormones linked to depression.

But the connection could be broader than that. It could be that people who eat more fish are healthier in general, and that could impact their mental health.

Of course, these findings are a little controversial. Depression is a huge issue around the world, and it’s important to remember that diet is just one factor in a complex puzzle. What’s more, making a small change like adding more fish to your diet isn’t going to have immediate impact.

“It is important not to oversimplify the results as there are lots of different factors in the development of depression,” Rachel Boyd, information manager at Mind, told the BBC. “But we really agree that having these fatty acids in your diet can be helpful, and it’s something where people can make quite small changes that could have quite a big impact.”

Hey! No harm in adding a little more fish to the diet.

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(Image via iStock)

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