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Fish-Heavy Diets Could Help Lower Your Risk For Depression

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People at risk for depression could benefit from making an easy change to their diets, according to new research.

Scientists exploring the connection between what we eat and our mental health have extolled the value of a Mediterranean diet and a focus on clean eating while cautioning against processed foods. Now, an analysis of dozens of previous studies conducted over the past 15 years suggests seafood may be especially effective in combating depression.

Researchers at the Medical College of Qingdao University in China produced a meta-analysis of 26 previous studies, involving a total of 150,278 participants, all of which considered the effect of seafood on mental health. In the end, 14 of the studies didn't indicate any particular relationship between fish consumption and depression—but the other 12 showed a "significant association." A seafood-heavy diet was associated, on average, with a 17 percent reduced risk of depression (20 percent when men were considered separately, and 16 percent for women).

The researchers, whose findings were published in a recent issue of the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health [PDF], write that, "the exact biological mechanisms whereby high-fish intake reduce risk of depression are not well established." They posit that the benefits could be the result of seafood's high levels of n-3 PUFAs (also known as Omega-3 fatty acids) and other vitamins, or that higher consumption levels may just correspond with healthier diets overall.

While fish can't cure mental illness, the research concludes that "higher fish consumption may be beneficial in the primary prevention of depression."

Last year, Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia, told The Washington Post that this area of study—exploring how our diets impact depression and anxiety—"is a very new field; the first papers only came out a few years ago." But, adds Berk, "the results are unusually consistent, and they show a link between diet quality and mental health."

[h/t Munchies]

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New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists
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Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or recovering from a breakup, a well-curated playlist makes all the difference. If you don't have time to pick the perfect songs manually, services that use the AI-driven system Sonic Style may be able to figure out exactly what you have in mind based on your request.

According to Fast Company, Sonic Style is the new music-categorizing service from the media and entertainment data provider Gracenote. There are plenty of music algorithms out there already, but Sonic Style works a little differently. Rather than listing the entire discography of a certain artist under a single genre, the AI analyzes individual tracks. It considers factors like the artist's typical genre and the era the song was recorded in, as well as qualities it can only learn through listening, like tempo and mood. Based on nearly 450 descriptors, it creates a super-accurate "style profile" of the track that makes it easier for listeners to find it when searching for the perfect song to fit an occasion.

Playlists that use data from Sonic Style feel like they were made by a person with a deep knowledge of music rather than a machine. That's thanks to the system's advanced neural network. It also recognizes artists that don't fit neatly into one genre, or that have evolved into a completely different music style over their careers. Any service—including music-streaming platforms and voice-activated assistants—that uses Gracenote's data will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

With AI at your disposal, all you have to do as the listener is decide on a style of music. Here are some ideas to get you started if you want a playlist for productivity.

[h/t Fast Company]

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