Eat Fish to Beat Feeling SAD

If you are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder then you are not alone. Also called ‘SAD’, it is suffered by up to 7% of adults in the UK and 2% of the population in Northern Europe have severe depression resulting from SAD. It is a type of depression that follows the seasons and is particularly prevalent in winter and thought to be related to the amount of daylight that an individual’s body needs, which is naturally more limited in the winter months. 

Symptoms include a varying scale of depression, having difficulty waking up, a tendency to overeat (especially carbohydrates), a lack of energy and difficulty concentrating or completing tasks.

Medical experts still have varying opinions on SAD and depression. The link between cold, dark climates and depression seems so plausible and yet Icelanders exhibit remarkably low levels of SAD. Some suggest this might be down to a genetic factor (Canadians of Icelandic origin also appear to have lower levels of SAD), while others believe that it’s all down to the high levels of fish they eat in Iceland - protected by a diet high in Vitamin D.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to raise levels of the brain chemical serotonin (making us feel happier), are found in abundance in fish and fish oil. They are called essential fats, because unlike some other substances, they can’t be manufactured within the human body, and therefore need to be taken in through diet. 


Some fish varieties deliver a higher dose than others. The richest dietary source is from oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, pilchards, anchovies, herring, trout and fresh but not tinned tuna. It is recommended that people eat at least two servings a week of fish. 

If you are interested in buying fresh fish from Plymouth Fisheries, or what to look for when buying fresh fish, then you can click here to download our free guides.