Veganism Mental Health

Better Essays
Positive Effects of Veganism on Mental Health Can diet affect mood and behavior? Dr. Neal Barnard with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine addresses the subject in the following statement: “In the evolving landscape of neurological research, a plant-based diet may help in treating symptoms of anxiety and depression.”. A western diet, high in fat and animal protein leads not only to higher rates of obesity and type II diabetes, it also produces impaired cognitive abilities, mood disorders and decreased productivity. Adopting a vegan diet is an excellent choice for many people because it contributes to improved physical, mental and emotional health. Some of the changes created by the typically unhealthy western diet involve important…show more content…
Ulka Agarwal often recommends dietary changes to his patients in order to ameliorate their depression. The physical benefits of a vegan diet are common knowledge when it comes to preventing or even reversing chronic diseases such as coronary problems and diabetes. A lesser known, and welcomed side effect however is being discovered by recent studies in the way of improved moods and increased productivity. One such study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion reported benefits in many areas including less depression, decreased levels of anxiety, less fatigue and increased productivity. The study in question was 18 weeks long. It involved employees of a well known nationwide insurance company. The corporate employees were chosen based on their history of weight issues or struggles with type two diabetes. One group was encouraged to adopt a vegan diet. They were given nutrition education, cooking instruction and clinical support as well. This group reported lower levels of stress, increased overall well-being and reduced health issues compared to the control group. They also lowered their average weight by 10 pounds, improved their cholesterol levels and type two diabetes (Agarwal, Mishra, Xu, Levin, Gonzales, and Barnard). What a concept! If all the employers instituted this type of program, there would be far less absenteeism, productivity would increase and employees would be much happier overall. By investing in their employees health, the company would profit incredibly from the workers' new found health, energy and improved moods. As shown in Figure 1, the participants in the aforementioned study who were offered a plant-based diet showed significant improvement in their physical and emotional well-being compared to the control
Get Access