'Less meat, reduced exercise may cause mental distress in young adults'

However, the mental health of a mature adult(aged over 30 years) seems to be more sensitive to regular consumption of coffee and carbohydrates.

PTI
New York, Publish Date: Dec 14 2017 12:04AM | Updated Date: Dec 14 2017 12:55AM
'Less meat, reduced exercise may cause mental distress in young adults'File Photo

Young adults who eat meat less than three times a week and exercise less may be at an increased risk of mental distress, a study claims.

However, the mental health of a mature adult(aged over 30 years) seems to be more sensitive to regular consumption of coffee and carbohydrates.

Researchers found that mood in young adults (18-29) seems to be dependent on food that increases availability of neurotransmitter precursors and concentrations in the brain (meat).

"Young adult mood appears to be sensitive to build-up of brain chemicals," said Lina Begdache, from the Binghamton University in the US.

"Regular consumption of meat leads to build-up of two brain chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) known to promote mood. Regular exercise leads to build-up of these and other neurotransmitters as well," Begdache said.

"In other words, young adults who ate meat (red or white) less than three times a week and exercised less than three times week showed a significant mental distress," she said.

However, mood in mature adults may be more reliant on food that increases availability of antioxidants (fruits) and abstinence of food that inappropriately activates the sympathetic nervous system (coffee, high glycemic index and skipping breakfast).

The findings were published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.

"Mature adult mood seems to be more sensitive to regular consumption of sources of antioxidants and abstinence of food that inappropriately activates the innate fight-or-flight response (commonly known as the stress response)," Begdache added. 

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