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How Your Diet Affects Your Mood and Overall Disposition

Posted by on September 21, 2020 in Food, Drink & Nutrition, Health with 0 Comments

Have you ever been so hungry that it puts you in a bad mood? Or should we say, have you ever been ‘hangry’ (a portmanteau of angry and hungry)? Even if your answer is no, then I'm sure you know someone who gets ‘hangry’ when they need to eat. If answered yes, then the good news is that you’re not the only one.

Unhealthy eating habits have been known to affect your mood and mental health for many years. This is why following diet plans and making sure you eat every meal, especially breakfast, is so important to our physical and mental health. Eating a healthy diet can also aid in weight loss, diabetes management, improving memory, and reducing the risk of terminal diseases like cancer.

There are many ways your diet can affect your mood since bad eating habits have been linked to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Your diet not only influences your mood and mental health, but it also influences your gut microbiota, neuroplasticity, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation.

Here are some of the ways your diet can affect your mood and overall disposition:

1. Induces Major Changes In Blood Sugar

Bad eating habits and eating too many unhealthy processed carbs like pastries and bread can cause blood sugar levels to spike and fall dramatically. This may lead to having low energy and feeling irritable. Skipping meals, in particular breakfast, can also lead to low blood sugar, making you feel weak and tired all day.

2. Vitamin Deficiency

Skipping out on entire food groups can have a negative impact on your health. If you avoid certain food groups, you will be missing out on some of the essential nutrients your body requires. Low levels of iron, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Magnesium are directly associated with worsening mood and fatigue.

3. Alters Your Mental Health

A study was conducted to see which foods can play a role in the prevention of depression. In this study, a review was conducted to see which of the 34 nutrients that are known show evidence of helping to prevent depression. Nutritional data was then extracted from several foods and given an antidepressant score. Twelve of the 34 nutrients were found to have antidepressant qualities, some of these nutrients are Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium, Folate, and some Omega-3 acids. The foods that scored the highest in these nutrients were oysters, mussels, organ meats, leafy greens, lettuce, and peppers.

4. Puts You In A Better Mood

When you observe the relationship between mental health and your gut, something you must take into consideration is that 90% of your body's serotonin receptors are made in your digestive tract. Serotonin, also known as the happy chemical, helps you regulate mood, sleep, memory, as well as both sexual and social behaviors.

Unhealthy eating habits can lead to a range of health problems including asthma, obesity, diabetes, mood problems, and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Healthy eating habits are not only good for your physical health but also for your mental health. Choosing healthier options is only one of the things that can help you improve your mood, and here are a few others:

  • Eat at the same time every day: Eating at different times every day is known to cause inflammation and may overwork your stomach.
  • Choose foods low on sugar and high in whole grains: Sugar can cause diseases like diabetes, and high blood pressure. Whole grains are packed with nutrients that aid in preventing depression.
  • Eat a form of protein during every meal: Foods high in protein contain amino acids that are also known to prevent depression.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal: This ensures that you get all the vitamins and minerals you need so you can have ample energy for the day.
  • Eat foods rich in Omega-3: Omega-3s are known to help fight mild and severe depression, along with schizophrenia.
  • Reach a healthy weight: Obesity is known to affect people’s moods as well as being directly linked to depression.
  • Drink plenty of water: Water helps deliver nutrients to the brain and removes toxins as well as inflammatory agents.

Conclusion

Although eating healthy doesn’t cure mental health issues—just like you can’t exercise your way out of an unhealthy diet—it can help deter and prevent it. Eating a healthy diet is known to help prevent many diseases, but also better your mood, and help with mental health issues. Improving your diet will not only help you get in shape and look better, but it will also have you feeling better and ready to take on the day’s challenges.

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