Seafood's Role in Managing Stress and Anxiety During the School Year
Students from elementary to college can feel stress in different ways throughout the school year. There are new problems, new expectations, and new people to get along with. All of this can be exciting, but also may cause a little bit of stress and anxiety. That’s normal!
Students can deal with stress and anxiety by getting enough sleep, exercising their bodies regularly, and learning how to relax. It's also important to eat well (and not skip meals) and seafood can be a big part of that!
Michael Gregor, medical doctor and author of the book “How Not to Die” says "Seafood is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help mental health in many ways, like reducing stress and anxiety."
Omega-3 fatty acids are just one of the super brain chemicals found in seafood and have been shown to help mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, protecting the brain and nervous system and improve mood and brain function.
In one study, medical students with higher omega-3 intake showed a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms. Another review (called a meta analysis) of 19 different clinical trials found that omega-3 fatty acids do reduce anxiety symptoms, especially under serious stressful situations.
Seafood is a great source of important nutrients for mental health, like vitamin D, zinc and magnesium. Zinc is important for general brain function and vitamin D helps keep your mood in check. Magnesium helps relax the body.
Dean Ornish, medical doctor and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute says, "One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to eat well. Seafood is a good choice because it has omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc, all of which are important for mental health.”
Help your children and teens deal with stress and anxiety during the school year by introducing more seafood! There are lots of easy and delicious ways to cook and serve seafood, so everyone can find something they like!
- Start with easy things like salmon on the grill or cod in the air fryer
- Add seafood to salads, pasta dishes, and stir-fries
- Serve seafood as a snack or small bites
With a little planning, it's easy to make sure your kids get the omega-3s and other nutrients they need to keep their mental health strong while they're in school.
As always, this information is for educational purposes and not direct medical advice. Speak with your own healthcare provider before adding any supplements.