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Hello Fishfans and welcome back to this winter series!  This particular article looks at some nutritional ways that could boost how you are feeling and improve your mood.  Self-care is a term you might have heard bouncing around lately, and no its not just for no good millennials (AKA me) to use as an excuse to be lazy.  It’s important to look after yourself and tend to your mood, to notice when you could do with a break and be nice to yourself.  This doesn’t have to mean taking a bath, having an early night, or indulging in whatever delicious food is available; it sometimes means that you recognise that if you put off doing your laundry for example, it isn’t going to go away – so if it gets done now, then you can relax, guilt free!  It can be about doing things you don’t want to do, like hitting the streets for an evening run, because you know that endorphins will make you feel good and that regular exercise is good for us.  Or it might be about what we eat.  Before we delve down that avenue, here are some general self-care tips by an excellent charity called ‘The Blurt Foundation’; if this is something of interest it is definitely worth checking out their site.

As you may have gathered, there is a theme in these articles and considering the site they are featured on this is hardly surprising (… it’s fish).  For good mental health, you need good physical health, and for good physical health you need good food.  You are all probably aware of the general guidance about healthy eating (a refresher is here). You also probably know that adults should be consuming two portions of fish a week, one of which is oily.  Fish is an excellent source of Omega 3, and Omega 3 has numerous health benefits such as improving heart health, being an antioxidant and potentially improving your mood!  There are chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters, which influence how you feel at any given time and two of the ones you may have heard of are serotonin and dopamine.  These are key in managing mood – and Omega 3 is turned into a substance within the body, which aids in making these.  Clinical trials of treating depression with Omega 3 are mixed… but they do not make it worse, and they show a general trend towards improving mood.

Here is your lovely BDA fact sheet!