Vegetarianism Associated With Healthy Mood
A study of Seventh Day Adventists finds lower incidence of depression, anxiety, and other mood-related issues among vegetarian participants than non-vegetarian participants. This is despite the omission of fish for vegetarians, which is a major source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two essential fatty acids linked to positive mood states.
This study closely examined the relationship between mood and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake as the result of diet. Both vegetarian and omnivore study participants completed food frequency questionnaires, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) surveys, and Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaires.
Vegetarians reported significantly less negative emotions than omnivores, though lower intakes of EPA, DHA, and ARA were also characteristic of this group, along with higher intakes of ALA and LA. Researchers concluded that vegetarian diets do not appear to adversely effect moods, even with relatively lower intake of EPA, DHA, and ARA.