Plant-Based Diets for Improved Mood and Productivity

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DESCRIPTION: The most comprehensive controlled trial of diet and mood finds that a plant-based nutrition program in a workplace setting across ten corporate sites significantly improves depression, anxiety, and productivity.

Here’s the link for the video I mentioned about the original randomized, controlled trial Improving Mood Through Diet ( ), and the pilot data on workplace interventions can be found in Slimming the Gecko ( ) and Plant-Based Workplace Intervention ( ).

Diet can help at home too! See:
• Fighting the Blues with Greens? ( )
• Exercise vs. Drugs for Depression ( )
• Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work? ( )
• Antioxidants and Depression ( )
• Can Dehydration Affect Our Mood? ( )

Arachidonic what? For background on the inflammatory fatty acid see:
• Inflammatory Remarks About Arachidonic Acid ( )
• Chicken, Eggs, and Inflammation ( )
• Chicken’s Fate Is Sealed ( )

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and he'll try to answer it!

Image Credit: JD Hancock via Flickr.

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Dave McKinnon

  • Miriam Kogan says:

    Could you please make more vidoes on mental illness and mental health? I am studying to become a mental health counselor and I find your videos extremely helpful and useful. Thanks for all the effort you put into educating the masses on the benefits of a vegan diet 🙂

    • Jan P. López says:

      +Miriam F And case studies have shown improvements with these persons when diet is changed , even ADHD , Alzheimers etc . Modern medicine does not want this to be common knowledge , so be careful of your sources for info.

    • Miriam Kogan says:

      +Jan Lopez Thank you Jan! Yes, I am aware of the big pharma corporations’ agenda ($$$$$$$$). That’s why it’s always great to find studies that show the benefits of simple lifestyle changes to mental health.

    • Marius says:

      +Miriam F I’m an adult male that could overcome major depression (AKA clinical depression) by means of diet and exercise 4 years ago; I had depression or its primary symptoms since childhood. Medication during adolescence and early adulthood just made me worse, quite prone to suicide and to be run over by a car due to uncontrollable angst and mental fog. The issue of depression never goes away, It’s part of my personality and I’ll always have it. But I can handle it much better now.

      There’s some evidence about it (influence of foods on microbiome or microbiota overall and its consequent impacts on mood), but my case seems to be a little atypical as experiments in rats show that as far as the infant’s brain is conditioned, foods won’t make a permanent difference: their microbiota will become exactly the same after transplant.

      Current literature on depression is rather sad (no pun intended): most of it is trying to find isolated chemicals time after the “theory of chemical imbalances” has been proven not a scientific theory, but a bad hunch.
      *EDIT:* _”Until, now!”._

      I’m quite sure there’s hope for humans, anyway. Sorry for my English.

    • Miriam Kogan says:

      Mario G Thank you for sharing your experience with depression. It’s my personal opinion that just because there is not one single cause for mental illness to occur there is not a single treatment for mental illness to subside. There should be a combination of multiple treatments best suited for the individual. I just think that diet and lifestyle change is often wrongfully ignored. 🙂

      Thank you ***** I will do that!!!

    • Jan P. López says:

      But of course , everything as a form of ‘ treatment ‘ is a combination of different things , I hope you find the answers that will help you . Lots of information out there which you can find yourself though . All the best . 

  • Fredinotmercurybut says:

    The video I wished for. THANK you, Dr Gerger for putting this treasure together.

  • Mark and Marjorie's life says:

    Great video!

  • shrizza says:

    Hm, really not sure about this one. I don’t think I’ve ever had issues with depression, but since going vegan I do generally feel angrier, and my tolerance for all sorts of bullshit has gone way down.

    • S Mudge says:

      Check and see if you have any deficiencies. If that isn’t the case with you, try cutting the vegan junk food, oils, and added sugars, and see if you feel better.

      If neither work, you probably have a case of being righteously angry about animals/the environment/human health etc and being mad at the world for not being just. I know a lot of people get like that and then that anger seeps into other aspects of their lives.

  • balderdashery G says:

    Eating plant based made a huge difference to my sense of well being. I was depressed for years and now it’s gone. Not to mention all the other health benefits. Now if I could just sleep I would be really happy:P

    • Jacob Hafer says:

      +balderdashery G Go play outside. You will sleep just fine.

    • balderdashery G says:

      +Dankuu O_____0 I do that all the time

    • Jacob Hafer says:

      balderdashery G
      I am sorry 🙁

    • Gallectee says:

      +balderdashery G smoke some marry jane it will help you sleep

    • Iluv Merengue says:

      +balderdashery G Same here.  Regular exercise helps with sleep, also sublingual B-12 supplements help me, which I was taking long before changing my diet to plant-based,  I have to take more than 1,000 mcg to get the benefit which is mainly to keep me asleep or make it easier for me to go back to sleep if I wake up.  I hear B-12 actually energizes some people but not me, it just helps me sleep when I take it a little while before going to bed.

  • Tim Tam T says:

    I’m sharing this with a major employer in my area! Fascinating.

  • White Kita says:

    Even if you don’t love animals and you don’t feel their suffering….Still, ….nothing is better then a whole food plant based diet for the environment, your health, sex-drive and sex performance (if  you are a guy) and longevity in general…..and the most energizing, funest, yummiest vegan diet for me that also makes me the happiest is the >> High carb Low fat wholefood vegan diet…

    • rod_ trip LXVI says:

      What do you mean of high carb and low-fat vegan diet? Can you enlighten me. Thanx

    • White Kita says:

      @rod_ trip LXVI I mean mostly carbs….some people call it 80/10/10….. where 80% of your daily intake is carbs (Potatoes, Fruits, Rice, Oats, etc) 10% Proteins (Sea veggies, beans, lentils, etc) 10% or less Fats (nuts, seeds, avocados,….) zero fats coming from oils since it should also be a mostly Whole food diet with lots of fresh veggies and fruits meaning stay away from heavily processed food.

    • Botzer says:

      Do you feel a difference between high protein and low protein? If fat is important for testosterone, is it also important for sex drive? I exercise, I’m not 100% plant based (I have b12 deficiency because of cutting animal products while not supplementing enough for months/years, I have permanent fatigue and confusion though it might not be related) more 90%+ but I still use canola and olive oil for testosterone

  • liwymi says:

    This is great to hear. I’ve been a lifelong vegetarian and I’ve now been vegan for about 3 years. Really started focusing on more whole foods, raw foods, and a high carbohydrate low fat macronutrient ratio about a year ago. I then got depression towards the start of the year. With all the talk of the importance of omega 3 and fats in general for mental health I did start to wonder whether my dietary choices were not the best for me. I think after dropping out of uni and giving myself some time to rest and recover I’m feeling a little better… still not myself though, but perhaps it’s just a bit of a quarter-life crisis.

    • Filip Kubiak says:

      Do you continue your vegan/vegetarian diet? How are you feeling now?

    • liwymi says:

      @Filip Kubiak It’s been a bit of a journey over the past 6 years, and there have been a few dietary changes and experiments, but I’ve remained vegan the whole time (besides one supplement I accidentally took for a few months – not realising it wasn’t vegan at first – and then continuing to take it for another few months because I thought it was working…. turned out it wasn’t though). These days I’m no longer HCLF and no longer predominantly raw, that was quite short-lived. I try to focus more on whole foods and avoid refined/processed foods and sugar/oil/salt, though certainly not perfectly. I still struggle with my mental health, mostly depression, but I’d say it’s comparatively mild to many. I’m not sure focusing exclusively on diet is the best thing tho, and there is certainly more I’ve done outside of that! What makes you ask?

    • Nurse Eve says:


  • H_T_homestead says:

    Great facts, I so agree!!

  • A Harris says:

    I saw you in Plant Pure Nation! Great documentary and it was great to see you in it.

  • at me says:

    I think it’d be really interesting to see the effects of a proper plant based diet and addiction. I was bulimic for years until I found the high carb vegan life and now I don’t even get urges. Everyone is sick of me saying a “Vegan diet cures all” but it truly changed and saved my life. (Bulimia is an addictive behaviour imo, but I’d be curious to see if it worked with drugs/alcohol for example)

  • Katherine T M says:

    In one year vegan, I stopped my medication for ADHD ❤️ and I fell awesome!! Thank Michael, you’re always amazing!

  • Martin Yeats says:

    Bring forward 1 person that has cured depression with any form of diet. Just 1. Not a study, not a doctor, not a book, just 1 person.

    • raw vegan fruitarian says:

      The lady in Food Matters

    • Happy Cook says:

      I cured my depression with a plant based diet. But the best thing is to try the plant based diet yourself and see. I do whole foods plant based no added fat/oils, no added sugar/sweetener, and no added salt. I cook everything from scratch. Has been life transformational for me.

  • Karrah says:

    Thank you so much doctor. Just purchased your cookbook for my boyfriend and I and your book for my mommy 💯

  • AheadoftheHerd says:

    I have experienced improved mood!

  • Beth Shearon says:

    ❤ So good!! 🥦🍎🥬🍅🍉💚

  • TheBadMoJoe says:

    Going whole food plant based significantly improved every aspect of my spiritual, mental and physical health.

  • Rampabitra Vlogs says:

    Nice video sharing🙏👏👌

  • jimcocke says:

    Great video😊

  • Korsy the Flexivore says:

    Im going to try to do whole food plant based but not no oil. Gently go into it. The next step will be to go full WFPBNO

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