Do vegans have better mood?
Many vegans will agree that once they changed their lifestyle, they noticed such great side effects as increased energy levels, less anxiety and stress as well as improved mood. Several mentioned feeling of lightness too. It all sounds amazing and almost too good to be true for those who are unfamiliar with vegan lifestyle.
Lets dig deeper into this and figure out if there are some valid reasons behind all these statements.
No more stress?
It is hard to understand how much what we eat on a daily basis can affect not just how our bodies look but how our brain works too. Recent studies shows that those who choose plant based foods are linked to have lower levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, high levels of it may negatively impact your mental state. Vegan diet is full of foods (wild rice, fermented vegetables, leafy greens, etc.) that are proven to lower cortisol levels in your body and help fight stress.
Less chances to suffer from depression
Couple years ago, the research was published in the Nutritional Journal which suggested that vegans may experience much more happy feelings than the meat eaters. The statement was based on the fact that vegans had lower scores on depression tests compared to carnivores. Scientists explanation is simple - long chain fatty acids, mainly arachidonic acid is present in meat and is associated with symptoms of depression.
Moreover, vegan diet is filled with complex carbohydrates which increase levels of serotonin - hormone that not only stabilizes our mood but also controls feelings of happiness and well-being.
Many new vegans will tell you that by switching to plant based diet they discovered new source of fuel.
Meat eaters often feel sleepy, groggy and sluggish after their meals. That is quite opposite with plant based foods which often have more vitamins and nutrients that help increase your brain function.
Besides, vegans consume much more carbohydrates that help to rise energy levels. And once you feel uplifted and energetic, your mental state improves as well.
Vegan lifestyle bring much more mindfulness into our lives. Vegans tent to be more aware of their food, clothing and other daily choices which increases peoples consciousness and builds better relationship with environment.
Mindfulness helps you to be more present and experience each and every moment as it comes. It assists you to focus on the details and be happy for small things. Sounds like a recipe for happiness to me, doesn`t it?
Vegans stand for animal rights and seek to save them from death and suffering by eliminating all animal products from their lifestyles and encouraging others to do so as well. And it is mostly due to compassion factor as I call it.
Once you go vegan, little by little, your compassion levels start rising. You start gathering information and facts that will not only cause your world outlook to change but also your sensitivity to suffering of all live-beings increases.
Unfortunately, you can not change everybody else`s lifestyle, but by knowing that everyday you make a conscious choice to not participate in destruction of the environment and killing of animals, you will feel good. Compassion is the key factor in the road towards happiness and vegan lifestyle offers plenty of that.
The sense of community
Do you ever walk through plant based food aisle, lock eyes with a complete stranger and you both share a smile because you instantly recognize your fellow vegan? That is what I am talking about.
Even though becoming a vegan sometimes might give you a feeling of isolation (always being outnumbered vegan friend or a family member), do not fear that! Nowadays there are plenty of social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) that offer to join their vegan community groups. So whenever you experience loneliness or feel discouraged, you can always search for online for likely minded friendly vegans!
I think it is safe to say that there are plenty mental health benefits for those who choose plant based lifestyle. At the end of the day, vegans are not only saving our Mother Earth but also spread great mood and positivity to the rest! Do not believe me? Try it yourself! :)
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