Vegetarian diets improve mood and lower stress, according to a new study in Nutrition Journal. Researchers asked 39 meat-eaters to begin one of three different diets—a vegetarian diet, a meat-based diet, or a meat-and-fish-based diet. They found that after just two weeks, vegetarians scored significantly better on standardized mood and stress tests. The mood tests measured depression, anxiety, and stress and were compared with food frequency questionnaires. The vegetarians consumed less eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and less arachidonic acid, an animal source of omega-6 fatty acids.
Beezhold BL, Johnston CS. Restriction of meat, fish, and poultry in omnivores improves mood: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012;11:9.
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