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The cure for depression could be hiding in your kitchen

  • Australian scientists have linked eating Vegemite with lower stress and anxiety
  • Vegemite is a rich source of Vitamin B, which is linked to fewer cases of stress
  • Scientists say that any yeast-based spread is ‘a cheap and accessible’ mood lifter

Vegemite has long been Australia’s national spread, the fodder for many a love-it-or-hate-it-debate and… an anti-depressant? 

Scientists think they’ve finally cracked the case on why we are nation of ‘happy’ little Vegemites, and it’s got a lot to do with the nutritional content of the much-loved, yeast-based spread.

Vegemite is one of the richest sources of Vitamin B available, according to the Daily Telegraph, and a lack of Vitamin B has been linked to depression in a third of cases.

Scientists have discovered that the high Vitamin B content in Vegemite helps combat anxiety

New research from Melbourne’s Victoria University published in the Journal of Functional Foods found people who consume Vegemite suffer less stress and anxiety.

The scientists behind the study have dubbed all yeast-based spreads ‘a cheap and easily ­accessible’ mood lifter.

‘Regular consumption of yeast-based spreads may help to lower the incidence of anxiety and stress in the community,’ the Victoria University scientists said.

An analysis of the results of the eating habits of 520 people revealed that those who regularly consumed yeast reported fewer instances of anxiety and stress.

People who regularly consumer Vegemite also reported fewer instances of anxiety and stress 

People who regularly consumer Vegemite also reported fewer instances of anxiety and stress 

‘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,’ lead researcher Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos said.

The key is believed to be the vitamins B1, B2, B3, B9 and B12, all of which which have a positive effect on neurotransmitters. Conversely, a lack of the vitamins has been linked to ‘anxiety, emotional disturbance and changes in brain function’.

Vegemite and other yeast-based spreads were originally given to soldiers as rations during the FIrst World War, before they became household staples.