Proven Benefits

The Many Benefits of Mindful Eating and Mindfulness Meditation

Research indicates that mindful eating and mindfulness meditation can fundamentally shift your relationship to food and your body, providing a natural foundation for healthy weight management (and if needed, healthy weight loss).

There are a number of ways this works, as explained in How Mindfulness Works and Solutions. But in addition to specific eating and body-related benefits, mindfulness meditation, concentration meditation (a related practice taught in the complete Mindfulness Diet program) and mindful eating offer many additional benefits.

The following list includes many benefits for which there is strong evidence, and others for which preliminary research is promising but not conclusive. Of course, the more consistently you are mindful, the more likely you will experience the benefits that are most relevant to your unique mind and body.

Area/Concern Benefit
aging Delay in age-related decline
anger Reduction in anger (improved anger management)
anxiety Reduction of anxiety, both acute and chronic
blood pressure Reduction in blood pressure
cancer Improved quality of life during cancer treatment
cholesterol Reduction of cholesterol levels
chronic fatigue Improvement in chronic fatigue syndrome
cognitive function Enhanced cognitive function
concentration Improved concentration
creativity Enhanced creativity
depression Reduction in symptoms of depression
emotional distress Decreases in emotional distress
empathy Increased empathy
heart Lowered heart rate
immune function Enhanced immune function
intelligence Increases in intelligence, school grades and learning ability
lifespan Increase in lifespan
marriage Increased marital satisfaction
memory Improvement in short-term and long-term memory
migraine Improvement in migraine symptoms
mood Enhanced mood
OCD Reduction of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
pain Improvement in chronic pain conditions
PTSD Reduction of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
pregnancy Reduced complications from pregnancy
psychological issues Improvement in treatment of psychological conditions
quality of life Enhanced quality of life
self-acceptance Increased self-acceptance
sleep disorders Improvement in sleep disorders
stress Overall stress reduction
substance abuse Reduction of substance abuse
tension Reduced muscle tension
weight Enhanced weight management


Murphy, M., and Donovan S. (1997). The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation:  A Review of Contemporary Research with a Comprehensive Bibliography 1931-1996 (2nd Edition). Sausalito, CA:  Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Natural Standard Meditation Monograph prepared for the Indiana University School of Medicine. Copyright ©2010 Natural Standard Inc.

Wilber, K., Engler, J. & Brown, D.P. (1986). Transformations of Consciousness. Boston: Shambhala.