Depression has become such a very common mental disorder and I don’t say that lightly. I can almost guarantee you know someone who has been affected by this terrible disorder.
Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression then men, which leads me to the reasoning of writing this blog post.
Experts admitted they were surprised at the findings that so many studies have linked red meat to physical health risks.
The team made the link after a study of 1000 Australian Women.
Professor Felice Jacka, who led the research by Deakin University Victoria, said “We originally thought that red meat might not be good for mental health but it turns out that it actually may be quite important.”
When they looked at women who consumed less then recommended amount of red meat in the study, they found that they were twice as likely to have a diagnosed depressive or anxiety disorder as those consuming the recommend amount.
Even though they took into account the overall healthiness of the women’s diets, as well as other factors such as their socioeconomic status, physical activity levels, smoking, weight and age, the relationship between low red meat intake and mental health remained.
Interestingly, there was no relationship between other forms of protein such as chicken, pork, fish or plant based proteins and mental health.
Vegetarianism was not the explanation either. Only 19 women in the study were vegetarian, and the results were the same when they were excluded from the study analyses.
Professor Jacka also said “we know that read meat in Australia is a healthy product as it contains high levels of nutrients, including the Omega-3 fatty acids that are important to mental and physical health.”
But eating too much read meat could be as bad for mental health as not eating enough. The Australian Government recommends eating 65-100g of lean red meat 3-4 times a week.
We already know that the overall quality of your diet is important to mental health. But it seems that eating a moderate amount of lean red meat, which is roughly 3 to 4 small, palm-sized serves a week, may also be important.
I feel there are a lot more studies needed to confirm the direct link of depression and red meat before the world starts going meat crazy.
But hey… If there is a chance that it can help alter the mood and give you a better quality of life, eat away.
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