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For Vegans, Good Food Equals Good Mood

Vegan Diet Mood Anxiety

It has often been said that good food means good mood, however, this saying doesn't apply to a steak dinner with wine, all the trimmings, and dessert. Instead, it applies to a simpler, meatless meal according to a 2015 study that surveyed the moods of vegas and vegetarians compared with meat-eaters.


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Your Mood Is Affected By Your Diet

Mood has often been a bone of contention for scientific studies that research the vegan diet since studies investigating mood in vegetarian diets have yielded conflicting results. The studies either demonstrated a higher risk for mental disorders or enhanced mood protection from a vegetarian/vegan diet.

Many vegans view the studies of anxiety and low moods in vegans as propaganda against the movement because many times these studies are funded by special interest groups for the dairy and meat industries.

A recent study has broken the cycle of propaganda against vegan and vegetarian diets as having more anxiety and mood issues and sheds light on the truth – that those who eat more plants experience better health and better moods than their meat-eating counterparts.

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Vegan and Vegetarian Diets Positively Impact Mood

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The objective of a study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience was to investigate mood, as well as factors that potentially impact mood in vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters.


The study surveyed mood, diet, and lifestyle factors in a broad geographic online sample of adult vegans, vegetarians and omnivores recruited via diet-related social networks. Their moods were measured with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale.

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The subjects were mostly women. Age was inversely correlated with all Depression Anxiety Stress Scale scores. Results showed that vegan scores were lower than omnivore scores, indicating less mood disturbance. Analyses of covariance were conducted by gender, adjusting for age. Anxiety scores were different in males only and lower anxiety in males was related to a vegan diet and daily fruit and vegetable intake. Mean stress scores were different in females and lower stress in females was related to a vegan diet and lower daily intake of sweets.

Good Food Does Equal Good Mood

The research showed that a strict plant-based diet does not appear to negatively impact mood, in fact, reduction of animal food intake may have mood benefits. That being said, the improved mood domains were not consistent with those found in other studies, which may be due to methodological differences.