• 48% of Brits reveal they would change their eating habits to avoid Blue Monday depression
  • 18% of Brits wouldn’t give up meat or dairy, despite knowing it negatively effects mood 
  • 64% of Gen Zs would change their eating habits to boost happiness, vs 40% of those 55yo+ who wouldn’t
  • 31% of women think that consuming sugary foods like cakes, cookies and doughnuts, increases their irritability 

Blue Monday is on the 17th January, bringing with it doom and gloom across the UK once again. Brits are willing to go to any length to avoid feeling depressed, with nearly half (48%) thinking of going plant-based to improve their mood.

Research?of over 2,000 UK adults conducted?by Upfield, the number one producer?of?plant-based?spreads, cheeses, and creams around the world, has found that over a third (36%) of people think a plant-based diet can impact their mood. However, despite knowing that meat and dairy increases anxiety levels and sadness, nearly one in five (18%) would still not give this up.

DIET DOUBTERS

Studies[1] show that plant-based foods are high in antioxidants, repairing brain tissue and improving mood. Knowing this, nearly two thirds (64%) of Gen Zs (18 to 24yos) are prepared to upweight their plant intake to be happier. This also stretches to more facets of their lifestyle, including improving their sleep (39%), physical appearance (27%), and energy levels (22%).

At the other end of the age spectrum, the over 55s are reluctant to change, with nearly half (40%) unwilling to alter their diet to benefit their mood. British meat eaters closely follow in their hesitancy to change, as 34% won’t budge and change any element of their diet, despite knowing that meat can be a depressive[2] 

DIFFERENT FOODS AND YOUR MOOD

Different foods produce varying levels of serotonin[3] (the chemical linked to mood), impacting how food makes us feel. Nearly a third (31%) of women think that consuming sugary foods like cakes, cookies and doughnuts increases irritability levels. Similarly, nearly a quarter (24%) of Gen Zs think that frozen products high in trans fats like chicken nuggets and chips increase stress levels. This link of food to mood drops significantly when it comes to over 55yos (11%).

Despite being tuned-in to the negatives that diet can have, less people are aware of the positives, where only 17% of Brits know that drinking fruit juice increases a positive mindset, eating dark chocolate reduces mood swings (17%) and spices like turmeric, ginger and cinnamon helps boost happiness (18%).

LIFESTYLE CHOICES 

A plant-based diet can improve more than just a mood with other lifestyle factors also impacted including sleep, heart health, and physical appearance.

Top 10 things Brits think eating a plant-based diet influences: 

  1. Improves quality of sleep (30%)
  2. Reduces the risk of heart diseases e.g., lowers cholesterol, reduces type 2 diabetes and strokes (24%) 
  3. Improves physical appearance e.g., the condition of skin, hair, and nails (22%) 
  4. Boosts immune system (21%)
  5. Increases weight loss (20%) 
  6. Reduces the risk of cancer (19%)
  7. Increases energy levels (19%) 
  8. Increases the ability to develop muscle (10%)
  9. Increases libido (9%) 
  10. Suppresses hunger levels (8%)

Damian Guha, General Manager of?Upfield?UK & Ireland said, “January is often recognised as a ‘blue’ month, and it’s great to see that people are either willing to eat a plant-based diet or are actively thinking to make the switch to improve their moods.”

“Adapting your diet to improve your mood, need only take some small changes and we want to help people on this journey, by supplying nutritious, delicious, plant-based foods. Whether it’s upweighting your plant-based intake, taking on small challenges like meat-free Mondays, or substituting dairy butter for plant-based spreads, it can all have a positive impact on the way we feel. All without making drastic changes to your diet or making compromises on taste.“

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