• Aria Positive Psychology and Wellbeing

Something smell fishy? ……. here is your catch of the day

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

I’m sure at some stage you have been bombarded with television ads, social media posts, internet articles and resources, and dare I say ‘blogs’, promoting the benefits eating healthy nutritious foods.

It is well known that healthy and nutritious food is important in supporting health and mental wellbeing. Without a doubt, there is an abundance of information freely available that indicates that food and nutrition can have an impact on a person’s emotional state, such as mood, energy levels and mental focus. In addition, nutrition has been argued to reduce the risk of conditions such as:

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • Poor sleep quality (see my post about sleep here)

It occurred to me recently at the age of 41, that while I had heard all the messages about the importance of eating healthily, what was missing, at least for me, was an understanding of the internal biological reactions poor food can have on the body.

This all changed when I started to read several books by Dr Mike Dow, including Heal Your Drained Brain, and The Brain Fog Fix. Of particular interest to me was the role, and the impacts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids in the body. I had always thought that any foods containing the word ‘Omega’ was associated with all things healthy. I had no concept of the differences between Omega-3 or Omega-6. However, according to Dr Dow, the western diet has become too heavy on Omega-6 fatty acids, which can be due to processed foods and the way in which we farm red meats (e.g. grass-fed vs grain fed beef). In fact, studies in Australia have shown compared to grain-fed beef, there was significantly higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids present in grass-fed beef. In addition, beef that were fed longer term with grain had higher levels of Omega-6, saturated, monounsaturated, and trans fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids themselves are not necessarily bad for your health. However, when the ratio between Omega-6 becomes too high compared to Omega-3, this is when it can start to impact health and well-being, such as heart health, depression, and inflammation.

There are many resources that suggest Omega-3 fatty acids can help the body with a range of ailments including:

  • Cardiovascular health

  • Reduce inflammation

  • Reduce depression and anxiety

  • Insomnia

As the body is unable to produce Omega-3 fatty acids itself, it must be obtained from a person’s diet. There are a range of sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that can be consumed which include oily fish, and plant based oils. Sources may include:

  • Salmon

  • Mackerel

  • Sardines

  • Tuna

  • Walnuts

  • Flaxseed

  • Chia Seeds

Of course, there is a range of fish oil supplements available on the market if you are not a huge fan of fish or nuts. I personally struggle to eat fish and opt for a daily supplement of Omega-3 capsules. Don’t panic if you are concerned about a fishy odour or taste. Today’s capsules don’t smell, however if you find they do, shop around or speak to your healthcare professional or pharmacist.


don’t usually use my blog to sell, but if you are interested in the role of food and the brain, check out the below video with Dr Mike Dow, or pick up one of his books today.

Watch an interview with Dr Mike Dow –

Time to catch some fish!!


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