Have you ever found yourself in a slump? Feel tired frequently? Do you feel less productive at work or school? You’re not alone; but, have you ever thought about why you feel this way? There’s a high probability that your diet plays a significant role.
There have been multiple studies done that show how large of an impact diet alone has on our mood and energy levels. In 2015 Dr. Michael Gregor set out to discover the effects of a plant-based diet on mood, and the results might surprise you.
Dr. Gregor analyzed numerous studies looking at this relationship. One of which was a 22 week cooperate study aimed to collect data on the acceptability of plant-based diets in a non-clinical setting and its effects on quality of life and productivity at work. The study took two overweight and/or previously diagnosed with type two diabetes groups and provided one group with weekly instruction on a low-fat, vegan diet while the other group received no instruction. The group receiving nutritional guidance reported improvements in physical and mental health along with more diet satisfaction and less health-related impairments at work and on a regular daily basis. 1
A separate study conducted was aimed to show the effects of a low-carb, high-fat diet and a high-carb, low-fat diet on overall mood and cognitive function. 106 overweight men and women were randomized into these groups. Over the course of 52 weeks, the high-carb, low-fat diet showed less depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, and fatigue than did the low-carb, high-fat diet group.2 These findings are consistent with those of other epidemiological studies showing that high-carb, low-fat, low-protein diets are associated with better psychological well-being. While, this might seem like fat is the culprit; but, rather the TYPE of fat is what should be considered.3 Arachidonic acid(AA) is an omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in animal meat that can potentially negatively impact mental health through neuroinflamation.4
Think back over the last few months. Day by day, how have you felt? If you think that you could be happier or more productive, take-a-look at what you have been feeding your body. If it’s take-away pizza and processed foods, the fix could potentially be as simple as a changing your diet. Switching to a plant-based diet is simple, and can vastly improve your everyday life. Here is an excellent guide to healthy eating.
- H I Katcher, H R Ferdowsian, V J Hoover, J L Cohen, N D Barnard. A worksite vegan nutrition program is well-accepted and improves health-related quality of life and work productivity. Ann Nutr Metab. 2010;56(4):245-52. doi: 10.1159/000288281. Epub 2010 Apr 14.
- Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD, Noakes M, Clifton PM, Wilson CJ. Long-term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood and Cognitive Function. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(20):1873-1880. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.329
- B L Beezhold, C S Johnston. Restriction of meat, fish, and poultry in omnivores improves mood: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012 Feb 14;11:9.