Eating vegetables makes you healthy, but does it make you happy? Research says maybe not entirely. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that vegetarian men experience more depressive symptoms than their carnivorous counterparts. The study came about due to limited existing data on the mental health benefits or risks of vegetarianism.
Red meat is rich in vitamin B12, which, among other benefits, is essential for cell metabolism, red blood cell formation and potential mood disturbances. The study’s researchers believe vegetarians’ higher likelihood of B12 deficiencies may play a role in their findings.
Researchers analyzed self-reported data from 9668 adult male partners of pregnant women with a range of dietary habits. Multiple variables were assessed, including:
- Marital status;
- Employment status; and
- Family history of depression.
Besides red meat, some happiness-inducing foods include others rich in vitamins B12 or B6, such as clams or apricots, respectively; those rich in zinc, such as oysters; and others that allow the brain to release dopamine such as natural produce, dairy and dark chocolate.