Give me a few minutes of you time and I’ll give you one fantastic reason for being vegetarian.

While fish is the main dietary way to obtain the long-chain omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which were shown to be essential in supporting brain health, low intake of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in vegetarians doesn't adversely affect mood, based on a new research (Nutr J. 2010;9:26. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-9-26).


A study team from Arizona State University conducted a cross-sectional study to compare the mood of vegetarians who never eat fish with the mood of healthy omnivorous adults.

A total of 138 healthy Seventh Day Adventist adults living in Arizona and California (64 vegetarians and 79 non-vegetarians) were enrolled in the study and completed a health history questionnaire, food frequency questionnaire and a couple of psychometric tests, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and the Profile of Mood States.

Vegetarians had significantly lower mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and also the omega-6 arachidonic acid; they had higher intakes of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and the omega-6 linoleic acid.

"Seed oils are the richest sources of α-linolenic acid, notably those of rapeseed (canola), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed (Linseed oil), clary sage seeds, perilla, chia, and hemp."

However, the vegetarians also reported considerably less negative emotion than omnivores in psychometric tests. Mean total psychometric scores were positively associated with the mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid , and inversely associated with alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid intake.

The research team noted there is also the possibility that vegetarians may make better dietary choices and could therefore be generally healthier and happier.

If you want to try it out, the following is an example of vegetarian recipe based on Italian cuisine

Italian Spaghetti with Zucchini

Ingredients:

* 17 oz. Spaghetti

* 24 oz. Of thin sliced zucchini (courgette)

* A half cup of walnut oil

* A few basil leaves

* 2 tablespoons of yeast flakes

* Salt and pepper

In a skillet or frying pan heat the oil and when hot, add garlic and zucchini. Raise heat and stir often to finish their cooking. They need to be golden and crispy outside and tender inside. Cook the pasta, drain and sauté in pan with zucchini, basil and yeast. Serve immediately.

Zucchini contain fewer calories and have no fat. However they are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin E, ascorbic acid, folate, lutein and zeaxanthin.

These types of nutrients are very sensitive to heat and to enjoy their benefits properly you should find a quick solution to cook or even eat raw in salads.

From the therapeutic point of view, zucchini have a laxative, refreshing, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and detoxifying action.

About the writer – Louise Infante writes for the Vegetarian Menu Ideas (vegetarianmenu.net) blog, her personal hobby blog centred on vegetarian food preparation tips to help individuals live a better life.

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