Have you ever thought how food affects mood? Some foods relieve our mood. Some food makes us stressed.Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel.
Gut or stomach is our second brain. Many hormones of our nervous system depend upon our stomach. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain. Since about 95% of our serotonin is produced in our gastrointestinal tract, and the gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, our mood depends much on the stomach.
Presence of serotonin in gut tells us that our gastrointestinal tract is not only for our appetite. It also helps in regulating our emotions. Besides this we have huge numbers of bacterias in our gut. They also influence our emotions.
Why food affects our mood
Studies have compared “traditional” diets with “Western” diet and have shown that the risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower in those who eat a traditional diet. This difference is because traditional diets tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, and fish and seafood, and to contain only modest amounts of lean meats and dairy.
Foods which we should include in our diet for uplifting mood
They are high in vitamin B6, which helps to synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. They are big reservoirs of fibre and carbohydrates. When paired with fiber, sugar is released slowly into your bloodstream which helps in better mood control.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that you must obtain through your diet because your body can’t produce them on its own. Some are rich in two types of omega-3s — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). They are good for our mood.
Oats are grains that can keep mood high. They’re an excellent source of fiber. They help to slow digestion of carbohydrates allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep energy level stable.
Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, fats, and fibers. They are large component of the MIND diet and Mediterranean diets, supporting healthy brain. They are high in tryptophan, zinc, and selenium, which may support brain function and lower your risk of depression.
Coffee is the world’s most popular drink. And it’s one of the common stress killer of our lives. The caffeine in coffee helps in increasing alertness and attention. It’s one of the best diet which helps in improving cognition and memory.
Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are rich sources of mood-boosting nutrients. They are full of B vitamins. They’re a good source of zinc, magnesium, selenium, and non-heme iron, which may help to elevate your spirits.
Yoghurt and fermented foods
The fermentation process allows live bacteria to thrive in foods. It increases numbers of helping bacteria in our body. They keep our gut lining intact and help in increased production of serotonin.
Good mood helps us in avoiding many difficult situations in life. Mood plays a strong role in how people decide to spend their time each day. Happy people succeed easily. A bad mood shuts down the brain’s activity and we stop listening. That’s why we need these foods in our everyday diet.
Please read and share
Gomez-Pinilla F, Nguyen TT. Natural mood foods: the actions of polyphenols against psychiatric and cognitive disorders. Nutritional neuroscience. 2012 May 1;15(3):127-33.