The correlation between mental health and a meat-based diet makes sense due to the fact that certain nutrients – B12, long chain omega 3 fatty acids, choline and zinc – that are particularly important for the brain and nervous system are mostly low in vegetarian diets. Fishes are a major source of omega-3 fatty acids that suppress mental illness, while a vegetarian diet may not contain essential amino acid precursors to the “feel good” neurotransmitters known as serotonin and catecholamines. It seems like the Paleo diet – which promotes eating meat and vegetables but discourages processed food, alcohol and sugar – is the most preferred choice of experts.
According to a previous study, “Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey,” published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in 2012, vegetarians displayed higher prevalence rates for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders.
For the study, researchers used data from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey and its Mental Health Supplement (GHS-MHS) and assessed the participants by a standardized individual face-to-face diagnostic interview for mental disorders. They also analyzed the consumption of various food products (meats, vegetables and fruits, fish, etc.) in individuals with different mental disorders. The findings revealed elevated prevalence rates in vegetarians for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders and syndromes, as well as for eating disorders. On the whole, the study said that avoiding meat in the diet was linked to mental disorders.
Are those who are more likely to select vegetarianism also more vulnerable to depression and anxiety? Or maybe those with mental troubles particularly try to avoid meat. One must not quit meat cold turkey. Instead, the person should consult a doctor beforehand, especially if he is prone to mood disorders.
For those fighting depression, talk therapy can help in understanding and changing thoughts and behaviors that contribute to how you feel. Treatment of depression requires qualified medical supervision. Most people are usually unable to get over depression without professional help. Fortunately, it is a highly treatable condition and more than 80 percent of people get better with help.