Hey there, Seafoodies!
Regular readers of Dish on Fish know that we love the holidays! But let’s be honest about another aspect of this season. As the days get shorter and the end of the year approaches, many of us find ourselves grappling with stress and overwork. The effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) often creep in during early fall and linger throughout the winter months. To make matters worse, Daylight Savings Time might also leave you feeling a bit “off” in the sleep department which can increase the effects of general anxiety and the “wintertime blues” too. If this situation sounds familiar, don’t worry—and know that you’re not alone!
Here’s a ray of hope to brighten your day: research suggests that the omega-3s and other nutrients found in seafood can be a powerful ally when you’re feeling down. So, to help you handle your holiday to-dos with ease, check out some of the best benefits of upping your seafood intake!
1) Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Your Brain’s Cheerleaders
You know that fuzzy, peaceful feeling when you take a walk on a beautiful day? Well, omega-3 fatty acids are like that for your brain. These friendly fats are found in fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout, and they’re known to be real mood lifters. Fun fact—salmon is one of the richest sources of DHA and EPA, which help boost energy and fight off depression!
2) Vitamin D: A little bit of Sunshine, Even in Winter
Winter weather makes it easy to spend more time indoors. Less exposure to the cheerful sun can quickly lead to a lack of vitamin D. But seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon and sardines, can be your sunshine in a can (or a pouch)! They’re packed with vitamin D, which your body needs to keep your mood sunny, even when the weather isn’t. Vitamin D also helps your brain balance its mood-regulating chemicals, making it an essential part of your winter wellness kit.
3) Selenium: The Helper for a Stress-Free You
Imagine having a helpful friend who always lends a hand when things get tough. Well, selenium is like that, but for your body! This trace mineral is found in seafood like shrimp, oysters and crab, and it’s an excellent stress-buster. Selenium can help reduce inflammation and anxiety, which are often culprits behind those wintertime mood swings. This antioxidant mineral also helps support thyroid hormones, which help to keep energy levels up and fatigue at bay.
4) Serotonin and Melatonin: Mood-Boosting Must-Haves
Seafood varieties like salmon, tuna and halibut are fantastic sources of vitamin B-6, a micronutrient crucial for synthesizing two important mood-altering hormones: melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is your ticket to a restful, rejuvenating night’s sleep, while serotonin—the “happy hormone”—keeps you relaxed and feeling good. Who knew that eating the recommended 2 to 3 servings of seafood per week may help lift your spirits and may help promote sleep?!
This season and all year round, embrace the connection between food and mood! Opt for nourishing seafood choices that can enhance your energy, sleep, and overall well-being.
Here’s to brighter days and better nights!