Fancy a mood boost?

Two American scientists conducted a very interesting and original research – they put a group of 39 meat-eaters on various diets and recorded the effects of the diets on the mood of the participants. The three diets they tested were: vegetarian, pescetarian (consuming fish but not meat) and a diet containing meat and fish. The participants completed questionnaires about their mood, stress and anxiety levels and kept a food diary. The results showed that while mood scores didn’t change for participants on meat-based and fish diets, mood score of participants on the vegetarian diet improved significantly after two weeks. The authors suggested that meat-based diets can have this effect because they are high in arachidonic acid. And it’s been shown that high intakes of this acid promote changes in brain that can negatively affect mood. While it was expected that replacing meat with fish in the pescetarian group  might have some positive effect, the results didn’t show any mood improvement.

Beezhold, B.L., Johnston, C.S., 2012. Restriction of meat, fish, and poultry in omnivores improves mood: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal.  11 (9).