Do you eat fish or seafood at least twice a week? Doing so could benefit your overall well-being.

What are the health benefits of seafood? Is seafood good for mental health? You’ll find that the fruits of the sea offer a ton of nutritional benefits that help multiple systems, from your heart to your brain.

Discover why celebrating Fish Friday like the Catholics do can be one of the best ways to improve your zest for life. Here are five ways seafood benefits your mood and overall health.

1. It Reduces Your Chances of the Number One Killer

One of the greatest health benefits of seafood is its cardioprotective qualities. Heart disease remains the number one killer of men and women worldwide, and this food can help you prevent it.

The DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) levels found in seafood can reduce all-cause ischemic heart disease and stroke risk – two frequent causes of sudden mortality.

You might have seen fish oil supplements in stores that promise these rewards. While such preparations work, scientists recommend relying on food consumption to improve absorption and get the full array of complementary nutrients that work together to deliver the goodness.

How does seafood work its magic on your ticker? The secret lies in omega-3 fatty acids, a beneficial fat that decreases inflammation and lowers cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure.

In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, seafood also contains high levels of vitamin E. This nutrient keeps your arteries and veins pliable by nourishing smooth tissues and prevents platelets from sticking together to form clots. Adding seafood to your menu a few times a week prevents heart disease through various mechanisms. It could help counteract some of the effects of toxic stress and other lifestyle factors, like sedentary lifestyles, that impact cardiovascular health.

2. It Protects Your Cognitive Ability as You Age

You might be one of the many who wonder, “Is seafood good for mental health?” If so, it helps to define what that term means. It can refer to your ability to fit in well with society and get along with others. It can also indicate one’s overall cognitive ability and capability to manage the routines of daily living.

Seafood scores high marks in both categories – it’s good for mental health. Specifically, the omega-3s found in fatty fish may delay or prevent the development of dementia.

For example, DHA – a type of omega-3 – is the most abundant fatty acid in your brain and is crucial for keeping your neurons healthy. Research indicates that the levels of this vital substance decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies suggest a beneficial effect if patients start supplements early when symptoms remain mild.

However, researchers caution that there hasn’t been a sufficient investigation of increasing omega-3 intake before symptom development to establish preventive recommendations.

One of the conditions for an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is the existence of extracellular beta-amyloid plaques. omega-3s like the DHA found in seafood reduce amyloid plaque formation significantly in diets formerly deficient in the nutrient.

Finally, ingesting omega-3 fatty acids leads to increased gray matter volume in the brain, especially in regions associated with mood and behavior. While this may or may not slow dementia progression, researchers believe it can benefit your overall outlook.

3. It Defends Against Anxiety and Depression

Some researchers believe that the increased gray matter volume promoted by omega-3s leads to the mood-boosting benefits you can expect from seafood.

Experts consider depression the world’s most prevalent disease, and it can be fatal. Countless people take their lives each year thanks to its ravages, and the numbers have risen since the recent pandemic. There may never be a better moment to add more seafood to your diet, as numerous studies highlight the beneficial effects of omega-3s in treating this mood disorder.

You can see the impact when evaluating diets from different regions with varying levels of seafood consumption. For example, depression rates are nearly 50 times more prevalent in South Africa than in the island nation of Singapore, where fish is a frequent menu item.

The omega-3 to omega-6 ratio seems to play a role in developing adverse symptoms like depression and systemic inflammation. Research on nearly 4,000 individuals revealed that those with the highest reported levels of depression had the lowest omega-3 concentrations and a higher amount of omega-6s. This balance matters, with many scientists recommending a 3:1 ratio for optimal health. However, many Americans get closer to a 16:1 ratio, which may contribute to rising rates of chronic disease.

Anxiety is another mental disorder plaguing millions of Americans, and the stress of the recent pandemic likewise increased rates. Here, again, the health benefits of seafood can play a role in reversing the trend. A recent systematic review of 19 clinical trials showed that omega-3s might be an efficient treatment strategy in clinical settings.

4. It Improves Your Immune Function

Immune function is on many people’s minds these days. If you’re already preparing yourself for the next pandemic, adding more seafood to your diet could benefit this aspect of your health.

Why? Seafood contains several minerals critical to healthy immune function, such as iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and potassium. You might remember iron from “Popeye” fame, although he sourced his from spinach. This substance helps support healthy red blood cell production, which is critical for carrying oxygen and other healing nutrients to damaged cells.

Zinc, selenium, and magnesium all benefit immune health. People with zinc deficiencies are more prone to infection, and you’ll notice this mineral in many over-the-counter cold and flu remedies. However, it won’t work as effectively if you wait to take it until after symptoms develop. Why not add more seafood to your diet to ensure sufficient levels at any time of the year?

Maybe this year is the time to borrow a delicious tradition from Italian Roman Catholics, who often celebrate the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve. You could do more than set out a festive spread your guests will remember – you could boost their immune function during the height of cold and flu season.

5. It Promotes Healthy Eyes, Skin, and Hair

Finally, seafood can help you look better – and see your image reflected in the mirror more clearly. Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration, a progressive disease that shrinks your visual field and can lead to blindness. It can also prevent Stargardt disease, which results from fatty deposits building up on your retina.

The omega-3s and vitamin E in seafood do more than keep your smooth muscle tissues relaxed and pliable. It does the same for your skin and hair. You’ll find that you grow more lustrous strands when you add more fish to your diet, and you may notice fewer wrinkles when you look in the mirror.

Softer skin and hair aren’t the only perks. You may also increase your resistance to the sun’s damaging UV rays by increasing your intake of DHA and EPA. However, you should still wear your sunscreen no matter how much sushi you order.

Omega-3s may prevent inflammatory skin conditions that can ravage your appearance and self-esteem. Some studies show reductions in acne lesions when patients take fish oil supplements, either individually or with other nutrients.

Fish oil can also guard against the dry, itchy, red skin typical in people with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. It improves the skin’s moisture barrier, protecting the surface from environmental toxins. Omega-3s may even promote hair growth and help slow loss, which is useful to know if you find too many strands in the sink or shower of late.

Learn How Seafood Benefits Your Health

What’s on your dinner menu tonight? If you want to reap the health benefits of seafood, why not serve up some grilled mackerel or roast a juicy salmon steak?

You now know that seafood is good for mental health and much more. The omega-3s and other nutrients the fruits of the sea contain benefit your heart, brain, eyes, hair, and skin, too.

Now that you understand how seafood benefits your mood and overall health, add it to your weekly menu planning. Two servings a week is all you need to reap the perks.


My name is Paul Miller - fitness freak by choice. I intensively study and write about nutrition and health related topics. After reading and researching intensively on human health, I aspire to proliferate the wisdom that I acquired in a simple way.

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