Vegan diets have been gaining in popularity lately due to the adverse effects of the meat industry on the environment . A study from The University of Oxford found that if the global population went vegan, food-related emissions would drop 70 percent by the year 2050. However, there are plenty of additional studies that reveal that a plant-based diet doesn’t just protect the environment, but can benefit our bodies too.
City Pantry food delivery service commissioned a study that found that consuming popular vegan foods such as leafy greens, plant-based proteins, and dark chocolate can boost your mood and cognitive abilities.
Many professionals from all sectors report feeling unmotivated due to a diet consisting of poor food choices. Their diets consist of highly processed meats and cheeses, boxed cereals, chips, and sugary treats with a high glycemic index like candies and fizzy drinks.
According to Dr. Uma Naidoo, a psychiatrist, and nutrition specialist at Harvard Medical School, “When inflammation is present in the body, less energy is available to the brain, so it’s important to eat anti-inflammatory foods to ensure workers wake up in a good mood and stay energized and focused through the entire morning.”
Dr. Naidoo encourages people to choose polyphenol-rich foods, as polyphenol stabilizes insulin levels which also regulates the gut microbiome, as well as foods with natural fats. “Fat is a key component for mental health,” she says. “Your brain is made up of 60 percent fat and in order to perform at its best, it requires a constant supply of omega-3-fatty acids.”
If you’re looking to boost productivity and overall happiness, some of Dr. Naidoo’s top recommendations for foods that have natural fats are nuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil. Her suggestions for polyphenol-rich foods include cauliflower, carrots, red pepper, cabbage, dark chocolate, oregano, broccoli, chestnuts, blackberries, apple cider vinegar, onion, and garlic.