Can eating meat be detrimental for your mood and mental health? Is there a reason that your vegetarian friend is so energetic and cheerful all the time? The latest nutrition research suggests there may be scientific validity to these observations.
According to a recent study published this February by Bonnie Beezhold in Nutrition Journal, a randomized group of omnivores reported improved mood states after only two weeks of eliminating meat, fish and poultry from their diets.
The study consisted of three groups. The omnivores were randomly assigned to either a control group, which included consuming meat, fish and poultry daily, a second group assigned to consuming fish 3-4 times a week but avoiding meat and poultry, and a third group that avoided meat, fish, and poultry altogether. At baseline and at the end of the two weeks, the participants completed a food frequency questionnaire, a "Profile of Mood States" questionnaire, and a "Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale." According to the self-reported results, both the omnivore's and the fish eater's moods remained unchanged, while the vegetarian group showed significant improvements in their mood scores at the end of the two week trial. (1) This and other studies conducted by Beezhold suggest that vegetarianism is associated with overall healthier mood status.