Plant-based diet makes you happier and more productive at work: Study
People who follow a plant-based diet may be more positive and productive than their meat-eating counterparts, new research shows.
An investigation commissioned by food delivery service City Pantry found that pant-based foods such as dark chocolate, leafy greens and nonanimal proteins lead the way as the best foods to consume for boosted brain power and good moods.
From remote workers to city dwellers, over a third of employees are said to feel unmotivated due to poor food choices influenced by their careers.
Some of the unhealthiest foods included ultra-processed meats and cheeses, boxed cereals, crisps and sugary treats with a high glycemic index like sweets and fizzy drinks.
How food affects our focus
Part of our brain’s relationship with producing energy from the food we eat lies in how inflammatory that meal or snack is. Plant-based foods are commonly associated with having lower levels of inflammation that allow our brain to spend less energy keeping us on the go.
“Low-grade inflammation flips off a metabolic switch in the chemical pathway that produces energy,” explains Dr Uma Naidoo, psychiatrist and nutrition specialist at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Naidoo has worked extensively producing literature for people that want to better understand the links between their food consumption and mental capacity.
Some of her top recommendations include cauliflower, carrots, red pepper, cabbage, dark chocolate, oregano, broccoli, chestnuts, blackberries, apple cider vinegar, onion and garlic.
Why? Because they are polyphenol-rich, which acts as a key tool for keeping your body and mind ticking over through stabilising insulin, regulating your gut microbiome and more.
Making vegan-inspired meal choices during a work day doesn’t have to mean going on a total health kick. In fact, Dr. Naidoo recommends foods with natural fats such as nuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil as a source of further boosted focus for undertaking lengthy tasks.
“Fat is a key component for mental health. 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.”
Studies like the one undertaken by City Pantry are more widely available than ever, but one of the first to establish a relationship between veganism and productivity came from a group of researchers at The George Washington University School of Medicine, over 10 years ago.