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5 Ways Switching to Plant-Based Diet Boosts Your Productivity Most mammals nap when digesting large hunks of meat, so no wonder you feel sluggish all the time.

By Scott Putnam

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Trinette Reed| Getty Images

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." ~ Hippocrates

This guy may have been right all along…

I remember the very last time I sat at my desk, closed my eyes, and wished I could simply melt into my office chair and drift off to sleep. This was an average day at the office and my only refuge from feeling completely drained was coffee, which did little more than keep the pilot light going. I operated like this day after day for many years until I discovered the nasty culprit of my lethargy: The food I ate.

I mean it when I say everything changed when I began learning about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Today I feel like a new person. What I eat now gives me the continual spark of energy I need to not just "get through" the day but to thrive.

As an entrepreneur who is certified in plant-based nutrition in addition to being a health and wellness coach, I'm motivated to share this information with others who are looking for answers.

You might be thinking, "Why haven't I heard about this before?"

Dr. Oz recently called plant-based eating the "single biggest movement of 2017" and for good reason!

Truly taking care of yourself begins at the end of your fork and when you stop to think about it, just makes good business sense.

Here are five reasons to consider giving plant-based eating a try:

1. More energy.

Okay, if you have you ever watched children at play and thought to yourself, "the things I could accomplish with that kind of energy," then you're in for a treat. The real magic is consuming whole plant foods, which contain a powerhouse of nutrients to keep you moving. When you eliminate animal products from your diet, it lightens the workload on your entire system. This translates to more energy for you. You're probably wondering about getting enough protein. Most people don't realize that plants contain all the protein we need. The film, Forks Over Knives, investigates real life stories of people reversing heart disease, losing weight, and accomplishing amazing results on a plant-based diet. Word is getting out as professional athletes are now getting on board and seeing real results. Who would have thought you could achieve greater performance by simply making the switch to plant foods!

Related: 12 Ways to Eat Healthy No Matter How Busy You Are

2. Improved ability to focus.

If you want to get more done in the work or at home you could certainly benefit from greater focus, and the ability to concentrate. Plant foods can help here too. They do it by helping to create better blood flow to the brain, which delivers vital nutrients and oxygen. By tossing out the morning doughnut, breakfast sausage, or other foods high in saturated fat, blood flow improves and arteries begin to open. Plant foods can help improve focus regardless of age. In his groundbreaking book, The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell notes, "one or more nutrients found in plants are associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline in old age."

Related: Despite Changes to Federal Dietary Guidelines, the Rules of Healthy Eating Have Never Changed

3. Lower stress.

Taking time out of your busy schedule for meditation or yoga is a fantastic way to lower stress. Why not take it a step further to move the needle back into the green by eating green? New studies are showing that by indulging in large amounts of animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs it can actually raise stress levels in the body. As explained by Dr. Neal Barnard in his book, Power foods for the brain, "cortisol levels tend to rise with consumption of animal products." The theory is that by escaping from this "fight or flight" condition, it allows our central nervous system to calm down, which lowers stress in the mind and body. It's nature's way of keeping us in balance!

Related: 11 Strategies for Eating Healthy on a Business Trip

4. A supercharged immune system.

Nothing is more frustrating for an entrepreneur than being stuck in bed with an illness! How can plants help you spend less time at the doctor and more time checking things off your to-do list? Your immune system is complex and relies heavily on whole plant foods to deliver the nutrients for peak performance even as you age. As Dr. Michael Greger explains it, "As you get older, your immune function declines." The theory is perhaps our dietary quality also declines as we age. The results of one of Dr. Gregers' studies including 83 volunteers showed that "certain fruits and vegetables may give the immune function an extra boost."

Related: Want to be Successful at Work? Eat Healthy

5. Becoming happier and more content.

You could throw a rock and hit a study showing that active people are happier people. Having made the unplanned journey from couch potato to marathon runner, I can speak with authority to the value of a plant-based diet. Lightening my load by 65 pounds and feeling a higher vibration in my body that literally felt like a "buzzing," lit the path for this journey. To my surprise, I found myself actually wanting to move more. Aches and pains disappeared because of my decreased inflammation and stress levels. As the weight dropped and my sleep improved, my outlook on life also became positive and optimistic. Thanks to a plant-based diet I have now joined the ranks of those who have discovered this new buzz for themselves and have truly become happier and more productive.

Was it really all about the food? Please don't take my word for it. Give it a try and find out for yourself.

Scott Putnam

Founder of Whole Living Nutrition, LLC

Scott Putnam is an inventor, entrepreneur and nutrition coach who blends his passion for health and wellness with the world of business. He helps people license their ideas as a coach for Inventright and is co-owner of Whole Living Nutrition, where he shares resources for nutrition, health and wellness.

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