Thinking about becoming a vegetarian, and giving up meat and fish? Besides your health, another reason to give up being an omnivore is that your mood could improve.
Research published by Nutrition Journal found that people who regularly eat meat or chicken daily reported better moods and less stress after only 2 weeks on a strict vegetarian diet. One reason seems to be that meat contains a long-chain omega-6 (n-6) fatty acid (arachidonic acid) that is associated with depressive symptoms.
The study also took another group of meat eaters and switched them to fish, which contain long-chain n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Despite the reputation of these fats to improve mood, this group was not as happy and the freshly minted vegetarians.
Conclusions from the Nutrition Journal Study
Restricting meat, fish, and poultry improved some domains of short-term mood state in modern omnivores. To our knowledge, this is the first trial to examine the impact of restricting meat, fish, and poultry on mood state in omnivores.
Vegetarian diets avoid the long chain fatty acids, and are also rich in antioxidants that could have a positive effect on mood. The study also indicated that people eating vegetarian food may be able to deal with stress better than those eating non-vegetarian food.
“Reducing meat, fish, and poultry may improve some domains of short-term mood state in modern omnivores,” the report concludes. “Exploring this phenomenon further is warranted, as reductions in dietary meat, fish, and poultry would not only reduce health risks but could benefit the environment as well.”
Many nutritionists agree that a vegetarian diet is indeed healthier.
- Would You Date a Vegetarian? 30 Percent of Omnivores Wouldn’t (ecosalon.com)
- Dear Omnivores, Cooking for Vegans is Easy! (itseasybeingvegan.com)
- Vegan, Veggie, Meat: What about nature? (akronplaneteers.wordpress.com)