The Effect of Nutrition on Your Mood – How Nutrition Affects Your Mind?
The human body is a complex machine. The human mind that has a whole domain of its own is even more complicated. Keeping our minds healthy is directly related to leading a happy and blissful life.
You’d be surprised to know how much effect your diet and nutritional intake can have on your mood. That is to say, you can regulate your diet to have steady mental health and a peaceful life. Now, let's dive in further on how nutrition is tied to your mood:
Processed Foods and Gut Health
Before we discuss this further, you must know the connection between the gut and the brain and how it affects mood. 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut, and serotonin is a bodily compound that plays a huge role in determining our mood. When we consume processed foods such as canned meat, soda, carbonated drinks, hydrogenated fats, and laboratory-made edibles such as food colorings and additives, our gut health is affected.
There are biomes present in your gut, and eating too much-processed foods destroys the balance between good and bad biomes, negatively affecting mental health. In the relatively new field of nutritional psychiatry, patients are counseled with a diet plan that contains such foods, which will boost serotonin and preserve gut health.
Nutrition and Mental Health
This is the very agenda of our discussion but let us delve into it further. There is already a well-established correlation between your mood/mental health and your nutritional intake. Some foods, such as bananas, oats, dark chocolate, etc., are proven to improve your mood. That is why we often seek the comfort of chocolate products such as ice cream or beverages when feeling under the weather.
But rather than a temporary mood swing, the relation between food and mental health is greater. Fermented foods such as Yoghurt and Kimchi, which are rich in probiotics, promote the growth of good bacteria in your body.
Fast foods do offer us temporary bliss because of their taste, but it often throws our metabolism out of the window. It also causes our digestive system to have to work extra hard in order to digest and filter out all of the ingredients. An unsound body is directly related to an unsound mind.
Different Nutrients and Their Effects on Mood
Fats- There are good fats and bad fats. The good fats that you will find in nuts and seeds increase energy levels and help you stay focused. While the bad fat, as in bacon meat, can lead to depressive episodes if consumed in large quantities daily.
Selenium- Is a mineral that affects our mood. It is present in many types of meat, fish, and vegetables. A low intake of selenium is associated with lowered energy and mood levels. So don’t forget to add this to your diet.
Magnesium - It is directly related to reducing symptoms of depression in people. Coffee and dark chocolate contain magnesium which explains why we feel so rejuvenated after consuming those. Spinach, legumes, avocados, nuts, whole grains, and rice also are rich in magnesium.
Fiber- Fiber is good for your digestive system. It keeps your bowel movements regular and your metabolism normal. In simple words, it keeps your gut happy. And we have already discussed how your gut health is vital to your mood.
Sugar - Sugar boosts serotonin levels greatly, and that is to say, it affects our mood positively. That being said, you absolutely should not go around consuming too much sugar as it is detrimental to your health. Sugar comes under the label of processed foods that lift our mood instantaneously but affects our health negatively in the long run.
Now that you know how vital the food you consume is to impacting your mood and mental health, here are some other things that you ought to know - hunger is one of man’s basic instincts. In earlier psychological studies, almost no attention was paid to the diet of humans as an essential component of mental health. But now, the scene is different. Doctors and researchers know that isolating one part of the body and studying it without considering the other parts is not fruitful. It is all about looking at the big picture and doctors have been doing it.
Similarly, nutritional psychology is not so much about the details as it is about the big picture. Processed food is not nutritious or good for your health, and while it can make you very happy for the time being, its long-term effect is not so appealing. Too much of anything isn’t good and can upset the balance of your alimentary canal. And since your gut is so important for your mood and mind, be sure to consume a lot of nutritious food!