Young adults who don’t indulge in physical exercise and consume meat three times a week may be at an increased risk of damaging their mental health. The study, which was published in the journal, Nutritional Neuroscience, claims that the mental health of a 30-year-old adult is more malleable to regular consumption of coffee and carbohydrates.
Researchers discovered that people who are between 18 and 29 years old experience mood swings depending on the food they eat. Meat, in this case, can increase the availability of neurotransmitter precursors and concentrations in the brain.
According to Lina Begdache, a professor at the Binghamton University in the US, the mood of young adults may be sensitive to the build-up of brain chemicals.
She states that regular consumption of meat promotes the build-up of two brain chemicals which are known to affect mood, serotonin, and dopamine. In addition, regular exercise contributes to the same chemical build-up as well as other neurotransmitters.
“In other words, young adults who ate meat less than three times a week and exercised less than three times a week showed a significant mental distress,” she states.
Researchers note that mood in mature adults can be shaped depending on the sources of antioxidants or eating patterns they choose. According to the researchers, age affects a person’s free radical formation, which in turn, increases the need for antioxidants.
Free radicals are cell-damaging agents that are toxic to the body and are known for increasing the risk of mental distress. Researchers believe that our ability to control stress decreases with age. In other words, eating food that triggers our stress response will likely cause us more mental distress.
Mood in mature adults is thus reliant on antioxidants such as fruits and the absence of food activates the sympathetic nervous system. Examples of possible trigger include drinking too many cups of coffee or skipping breakfast.
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