The simple diet change that lowers your risk of depression 30



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New research has shown that we all should eat more fish, and those who do have a 17% lower risk of suffering from depression.  It is in line with other research that shows wholesome foods full of fibre are also likely to protect you from the black demon.

The study is featured in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, and analyses the feel-good effects of eating fish as measured by diagnosis of depression, the meeting of criteria on depression rating scale or the use of an antidepressant.  The conclusion came from a critical review of 26 different studies conducted over a 14 year period between 2001 and 2014 and showed that fish consumption directly affected the risk of depression by 17%.  Other correlating evidence says that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish might modify dopamine and serotonin levels and could be behind the fishy results.

It is controversial, but evidence is growing in the scientific alignment of diet with the management of mood and depression.  The results of this research suggest that high intakes of fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains may be associated with a reduced depression risk and the report calls for more research to be done in this area.

A healthier diet overall might be the reason for the results some researchers say, while others point to omega 3s reducing inflammation, and therefore improving happiness.

Have you ever considered whether eating more fish, or eating a wholesome diet makes you happier?  


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I think a healthy diet, such as outlined here, would improve your health and consequently make you feel good.

  2. I did not know fish gave one arthritis. I was always of the belief the fish oil was good for our joints.

    5 REPLY
    • I loved fish and was on tablets for arthritis. Some mornings I could not get out of bed. Thought back to what I was eating the night before and fish was what I ate. Gave up fish and within days the pain was gone and no trouble walking. Since I love fish I have around once a month. I get the pain but not as severe. I was taking fish oil tablets and gave them up as I was feeling unwell. Felt better without them.

      1 REPLY
      • We are al different. Although fish may work for the majority of us there will always be some unlucky soul who is allergic Glad you found the cause and were able to eliminate fish from your diet

    • Taking fish oil capsules gave me oral thrush. Mouth so sore I could not eat. Stopped taking them and mouth got better.

    • I’m with you. We are always being told to eat plenty of fish for the omega 3 as it is supposedly good for arthritis.

    • I have a severe reaction to shellfish so gave up the krill oil caps for my arthritis and haven’t been game to see if I get the same reaction to fish. I guess I dont as I had a salmon sandwich not long ago. OK I’m raving – late night.

  3. sorry, could not afford to live on salmon and other fish, only for the rich.

    1 REPLY
    • tinned fish qualifies and is not that expensive. i buy plain frozen, fillets of various fish when they come on special. i agree salmon fillets are expensive, but i find that the serves are large and i could happily do with half.

  4. You asked
    “Have you ever considered whether eating more fish, or eating a wholesome diet makes you happier? ”
    I have. It definitely does.

  5. Vic eats hardly anything! He has sultana bran, juice and tea for breakfast, might have a couple of biscuits with a cuppa sometime during the day, most likely not. Does drink tea endlessly. No lunch, and unless I don’t ask and present him wth a meal, he will often only have an ice cream for dinner! Although he sometimes asks for tea and toast around 1-2am!! He is on medication for depression, but can have a lot of negativity some days. Not with me or his situation, although that might play a part, but it manifests in grumbling about people and situations on TV. He really vents about politics, injustices in sport, with children being damaged, wasted gov monies, even colours in houses or styles of houses in reality shows! This is not all the time, but when he’s on a rant I let him go. If I thought fish would help him, I would give it to him from breakfast to supper! If I get a bit frustrated about this, I try to imagine not being able to do anything for myself, not moving in bed without help, no walking, just being in bed, with an active mind! I think I would be depressed too!

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