Reducing your stress levels could be as simply as choosing the right spread for your morning toast.
A new study has found that people who regularly eat yeast-based spreads (YBS), such as Marmite, showed lower stress and anxiety levels than those who didn’t.
The effect has been credited to the spreads’ rich vitamin B content, which is also found in the Australian yeast-based spread, Vegemite.
Conducted by researchers at Victoria University in Australia, the study examined the effects that YBS had on 520 participants.
They concluded that while the spreads significantly lowered scores of anxiety and stress, they had no effect on symptoms of depression.
Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 were cited as particularly beneficial, as they can help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain that control our mood and prevent the production of homocysteine in the blood, which can lead to stress and anxiety.
Participants each completed a survey consisting of 70-94 questions that analysed their dietary and lifestyle habits.
The study was published in the Journal of Functional Foods and is the first to find scientific proof that YBS can alleviate stress and anxiety.
“We know these extracts contain some of the world’s richest sources of B vitamins, which are essential in keeping our bodies energised and regulating the nervous system,” explained lead researcher Vasso Apostolopoulos.
While the results are promising and could help support those suffering from stress and anxiety, as YBS are a cheap and efficient way to increase one’s vitamin B intake, Apostolopoulos insisted that YBS should not be viewed as replacements for medical treatments and that those struggling with mood disorders seek professional help.
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