Icelanders eat 225 pounds of fish per person each year. That's 78 more pounds of fish than the Japanese are eating per person every year and 177 more pounds than Americans. More fish means more of the infamous omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid means lower rates of seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder is known to be more common during the winter in areas where the nights are long, yet Icelanders who get six hours of daylight during the winter have the lowest known levels of seasonal affective disorder. The reason these isolated, frosty headed friends of ours are able to party it up in their Lopapeysurs each and every dismal winter has been linked to the levels of omega-3 fatty acids occurring naturally in their diets (fish). It's been observed that those with seasonal affective disorder as well as depression have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets, and countries such as The Netherlands, Switzerland, The United States, and The United Kingdom with the lowest consumption of fish (less than 70 pounds) have the highest rates of seasonal affective disorder and depression.
So when you look out your window this winter and see miles of grey, whether it be skinny and naked tree limbs or dirty snow-sludge shoved to the gutter, it might be a good idea to consider cooking up salmon with snap peas, yellow peppers, and dill pistachio pistou or some crispy-skin fillets with wilted escarole.
Read all about omega-3 fatty acids in the book Why Women Need Fat
For more information about fish intake and mood disorders, check out the The American Journal of Psychiatry, VOL. 163, No. 6 and The American Journal of Psychiatry, VOL. 158, No. 2
*Variety of Fresh Fish Seafood In Market - Photo by Kittikun Atsawintarangkul