So, you woke up on the wrong side of the bed?
No problem. Your day is about to get better. Hold onto your rainbow carrots and pickled beets — they just might turn that frown upside down.
A recent study looked at the impact food has on a person’s mood. The results? Eating more fruits and veggies (and less meat) makes you happier.
Let’s Talk Shop
Omnivorous diets are higher in arachidonic acid (AA) than vegetarian diets and it promotes changes in brain that can disturb mood. Not a lot of fun for anyone.
Researchers wanted to see what the impact of restricting meat, poultry, and fish would be on a person’s emotional health and their mood over the course of 2 weeks, so they randomly assigned 39 omnivores to 3 different diets: a traditional omnivorous diet including fish, poultry, and meat (OMN); a pescatarian diet that included fish, but restricted meat and poultry (FISH); and a completely vegetarian diet (VEG). The OMN group served as the control for the study.
And Now It’s Time To Talk About Feelings.
At the beginning of the study, all participants were surveyed to assess their overall mood, emotional health, and level of stress & anxiety. At the end of the 2 week diet program, they took the surveys again. Mood scores for the VEG group increased substantially, meaning that they felt an improvement, whereas the OMN and FISH groups remained the same.
So what does this mean? The results of the study suggest that reducing meat, fish, and poultry may improve the mood of the modern omnivore. Cutting-out animal products may help you cope better with mental stress and depression.
Of course, there are other outcomes from eating vegan and vegetarian that can lift your spirits, too. Like reducing your environmental impact and sparing the life of an animal. Even the researchers included the plight of the planet in their report, noting that “reductions in dietary meat, fish, and poultry would not only reduce health risks but could benefit the environment as well.”
Because I’m Happyyyy
Go on and help yourself to a plateful of joy. It’s not always easy to eat healthy, but small changes can lead to big improvements over time. Swap out that bag of chips with a bell pepper, carrot sticks, or a crunchy apple (they’re in season, so you really have zero excuses). A veggie burrito is a great substitute for a greasy cheeseburger. And if you just don’t have time to make a plant-powered meal, we’re always here to help.