Foras na Mara

Our Ocean: Our Health and Wellbeing

Spending time at the sea has long been associated with providing benefits to our health and wellbeing but in recent years, Oceans and Human Health has developed as an emerging field of research.

The research project Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE), has seen scientists and public health experts gather existing evidence that the health of seas, oceans and humans are inextricably linked. SOPHIE outlines the required research and collaborations needed to inform future policies and practices which will enhance and protect both human health and the health of the oceans. Discover more about the links between oceans and human health with the videos and fact sheets produced as part of the SOPHIE project.

Many marine plants and organisms are used in medicines, food additives and cosmetics. Work undertaken by the National Marine Biodiscovery Laboratory of Ireland (NMBLI) focuses on marine biodiscovery and isolating and identifying new natural products produced by marine organisms. Globally, the deep ocean has already given us compounds to treat cancer, inflammation and nerve damage and it's an area of research that is still developing, with great potential for the future.

Fish are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain function. According to Bord Bia, researchers have found that many brain-related conditions may be prevented or even treated by good intakes of Omega-3 fats.

Seaweed is packed with an unusually high concentration of vitamins and minerals which all pose benefits for the skin. Seaweeds can contain as much as ten times more vitamins and minerals (trace elements) than land plants. Seavite shares why seaweed is the best skincare ingredient in the video and fact sheet below.

Swimming in sea water is very popular in Ireland and other countries around the globe and people swear by its health benefits. Sea water is known to have benefits for the skin and may also have a positive effect on mental health. VHI Healthcare has shared some of the benefits of sea swimming, and view the video on sea swimmers at sunrise produced by Niall Meehan of Sea Studio.

To find out more, dive deep into the Oceans of Learning resources available below: