Is it really possible to improve your mood by eating more of certain things or maybe less of other things?

According to research it is, and this is why.

When study participants eating a vegetarian diet were compared with participants eating meat, fish and poultry daily and a group eating fish 3-4 times a week with eggs allowed, but no meat and poultry, the vegetarian group was the only one that significantly improved their mood, and it took only 2 weeks (Beezhold BL, Johnston CS, 2012).

While the 2 other groups saw some changes it was not significant.

The reason is inflammation

A vegetarian diet leads to a reduction of arachidonic acid which is a precursor to inflammatory prostaglandins. Protein from animal sources contains more arachidonic acid.

Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish have shown to reduce inflammation, but the fish intake in this study it did not produce significant results in mood.

The link between inflammation, psychological distress and depression has been established by research.

A large study which included 73,131 men and women was especially convincing because of the size. It was documented that elevated levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, are associated with increased risk for psychological distress and depression (Wium-Andersen MK, et al. 2013).

If you eat a plant based diet most of the time your mood should also improve.

It needs to be high nutrient and low glycemic index which is not difficult to implement with some planning.

Learn to Eat:

Recommendations that work. This is not a regular diet program.

Beezhold BL1, Johnston CS. Restriction of meat, fish, and poultry in omnivores improves mood: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012 Feb 14;11:9. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-9.
Wium-Andersen MK1, Orsted DD1, Nordestgaard BG2. Elevated C-reactive protein, depression, somatic diseases, and all-cause mortality: a mendelian randomization study. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Aug 1;76(3):249-57. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.10.009. Epub 2013 Oct 12.
  • Category: Inflammation
  • Author: Didrik Sopler
  • Published: 2020-03-28
  • Comments: 0
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