Food and Mood, part I

You’ve heard it before, “You are what you eat.”

AND, you also feel what you eat.

Research has shown that food affects our moods.

The food you consume has a profound impact on your overall health, including mood, stress level, and attitude.

Food triggers chemical and physiological changes within the brain that alter your behavior and emotions.

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

-Ann Wigmore

You know that eating the right foods will help to ward off disease and keep your body healthy.

What you might not know about or understand is that food can be our most powerful ally in alleviating moodiness, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and stress.

Consuming the right micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, along with a good balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins), will help to keep disease away and your mind functioning more optimally.

Your physical body is not separate from what goes on in your mind.

There is a mind/body connection – how your emotional and mental health affect your physical body and vice versa. Your thoughts and emotions play an important role in positively or negatively influencing your health, because the brain is very dependent on mood-enhancing nutrition. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to learn what foods put you in a funk and which ones provide a positive happy outlook!

“In order to function properly, brain cells, like all body cells, need to be constantly supplied with molecules derived from the nutrients in the food you eat. Because the brain cells’ functions involve thinking, anything that results in less than optimal nutrition for the brain cells will result in less than optimal thinking by the brain.”

-Dr. William Vayda, Mood Foods

Gut/Brain Connection

A nickname for your gut is “the second brain.” We have a direct link via the vagus nerve from the gut to the brain. Your intestinal tract is where all nutrients are absorbed by your body. If your gut health is compromised by an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria or your digestive tract isn’t working optimally (leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.),.then your brain is affected.

Food Sensitivities

If you have a sensitivity to a certain food/foods, it can have a dramatic effect on your mood. Many people have food sensitivities and don’t even know it! They are unaware of the connection to the symptoms (tired, crabby, depressed, headaches, joint pain, etc.) they are experiencing to what they ate 24-72 hours ago.

Food sensitivities are more common than you may think, one in three people will experience a food sensitivity in their life. Many of these sensitivities go undiagnosed, leaving individuals to suffer from symptoms that are never traced back to their diet.

Eating foods that you are sensitive to puts constant stress on your digestive system, immune system, and compromises your vitality. Loss of vitality can lead to depression, lethargy, and brain fog.

The most common foods that people are sensitive to are:

● Gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye)

● Dairy (especially cows’ milk)

● Soy

● Corn

● Wheat

● Eggs

● Nuts

● Nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, and any spices that include peppers)

Stay tuned for part II!