Why plant-based food is the key to wealth, health and happiness

University of Leeds
3 min readMay 15, 2024

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As well as benefiting the planet, there are lots of personal perks to eating plant-based — including making you healthier, happier and even saving you some extra pounds!

Supporting your physical health

Plant-based foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals as well as fibre, healthy fats and protein that are all good for your body. These essential nutrients help to keep your body healthy and in balance, helping to reduce inflammation and supporting your immune system to fight off illnesses.

And that’s not all — researchers at Leeds contributed to a study looking at the effects of a diet that reduced animal protein intake, replacing it with plant-based alternatives.

The study saw “improved fat partitioning, reduced liver fat, reduced insulin resistance, reduced fasting morning stress hormones, slow biological ageing, protection against brain atrophy and slow brain ageing, improved cardiovascular and metabolic health.”

Read more about this study plant-based protein diets.

Boosting to your mental wellbeing

Eating more plant-based food isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your mind too! Plant-based foods are rich in mood-boosting nutrients, with certain properties in plant-based food helping to boost serotonin and dopamine — the ‘happy hormones’ — which help make you feel happier.

In the last few years, Leeds researchers analysed data from more than 40,000 people in the UK and found that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the happier you are.

“The research showed a positive association between the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed and people’s self-reported mental well-being […] people who do eat more fruit and vegetables report a higher level of mental well-being and life satisfaction than those who eat less.”

Read the full article on how fruit and veg can boost your mental wellbeing.

Graphics of a piggy bank, a heart and a brain, representing money, physical health and brain food respectively.

Save some pounds with plants

A common misconception around plant-based diets is that they’re costly, but they don’t have to be! Studies have shown that eating a more plant-based diet can actually save you money on your food bill.

Obviously, this can depend on what you buy and where you buy from. Here are a few tips to help you save money while eating plant-based:

  • Don’t always rely on mock meats: while a tasty alternative, relying heavily on processed plant-based ‘meat’ products can be quite expensive — usually as costly, if not more expensive, than their meat counterparts.
  • Batch cook: this is a useful tip whether you’re eating plant-based or not, batch cooking your meals for the week or part of the week can save you money and time.
  • Buy frozen fruit and veg: frozen fruit and veg are just as nutritious and often more affordable than the fresh stuff as you usually get more for your money, and it lasts longer.
  • Bulk-buy your staples: bulk-buying foods such as beans, flour, pasta, rice, quinoa, oats and pulses can save you money in the long run as they can last a long time when stored correctly.

If you’re in need of some student-friendly meal inspiration, check out our TikTok on plant-based recipes from the Student Recipe Book.

Looking for more on plant-based food? Discover more about plant-based food, innovative University research as well as lots of chances for you to win plant-based prizes.

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