salmon fillets and potatoes in white oven tray with cherry tomatoes on the vine laid over

Can Omega 3 Oils From Oily Fish Improve Mental Health?

Omega 3 oils are associated with improvements in mental health according to some studies.

Omega 3’s are one type of essential fatty acids (EFAs) – essential because, unlike other fats, the human body can’t synthesise them.

DHA and EPA are two types of Omega 3 oils, which are both found in high concentrations in oily fish such as the the wild salmon above, and also mackerel, sardines, herring, pilchards and anchovies.

These oils are a major component of the body’s cell membranes and they have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

A 2016 study that looked at data from 13 previous studies found that omega 3 appeared to reduce depressive symptoms in people with depression in a way that was similar to anti-depressant medication. The association was even greater when taken alongside an anti-depressant medication.

The researchers’ findings suggested that the effects may be related to omega 3’s anti-inflammatory properties, but they highlighted the need for more research into the how’s and why’s, as well as whether omega 3’s should be part of treatment or not.

Other studies have suggested that the apparent benefits of omega 3 oils on mental health may be down to their effects on mood-related brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.

At a basic level, a healthy brain requires healthy brain cells, so if we’re looking to food to support our mental health then we must give the brain the building blocks (like omega 3) that it needs for healthy structure and function.

Remember that good nutrition, including omega 3 oils, is just one piece of the complex picture of mental health.

To make the salmon and potatoes traybake:
-Cook 500g baby potatoes in boiling water for 10mins
-Add the potatoes to a roasting tin along with a few slices of lemon and some salt pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture. Roast for around 10mins until potatoes are looking slightly golden
-Add 4 salmon fillets on top of the potatoes and 300g vine tomatoes around the potatoes and salmon. Season with thyme or mixed herbs.
-Roast for 15 mins or until everything is fully cooked

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