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The Relationship Between Food And Your Mood

Is There a Connection Between Food and Your Mental Health?

Have you noticed there are specific types of foods that you prefer when you need an emotional boost? For instance, you crave comfort food when you feel down compared to healthier options. According to research, the types of food you eat can influence your mood.

Comfort foods are often loaded with carbohydrates and fats that stimulate your brain to produce more “feel good” hormones. This chemical reaction offers temporary pleasure to make you feel good about yourself. However, it can create setbacks in your physical health.

The more  unhealthy food you eat to boost your mood, the more you’re likely at a risk of increasing your blood sugar levels, cholesterol and potential weight gain overtime. This can have a long-term effect on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Most importantly, it can trigger other related mental health disorders.

Can Your Diet Trigger Mental Health Disorders?

Some people tend to eat more, or less when going through emotionally fuelled moments. Your body requires a specific number of nutrients to ensure optimal performance. Too many or too few nutrients have the potential to affect your gut biome leading to digestive issues.

Additionally, 90% of serotonin, the hormone that makes you feel happy, is produced in your gut. Any changes to your diet can affect how its produced. As a result, what you eat can have a direct impact on your mood.

For example, certain types of foods such as red meat take longer to digest. If you’re feeling down and eat red meat, you can run the risk of creating an imbalance in your gut biome. You may feel worse mentally if your body struggles to digest food.

Foods to Support Your Mental Health

When most people think of food, they mainly consider the physical benefits. However, nutrition plays a critical role in your mental well-being. This is why eating well to boost your mental health is crucial.

There’s so much that a well-balanced diet can do for your health. For instance, it can make your brain more alert. On the other hand, a poor diet can worsen your physical health and potentially lead to stress and other related mental health conditions.

Stress and Depression

The majority of the global population relies on highly processed and sugar-based foods and drinks. Research suggests that these types of foods and drinks can lead to inflammation that may affect your body and brain functions. As a result, this can contribute to the risk of mood disorders such as stress and depression.

A poor diet can worsen the situation. It’s crucial to eat foods that can boost your mental health and ease stress or depression symptoms. For example, try to eat more fruits, vegetables, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish.

A Healthy Gut

Did you know that the gut and brain are connected? Changes to your emotional behaviour can be tied to the type of bacteria in your gut. The type of bacteria in your gut is responsible for the regulation of mental and physiological processes.

As a result, when you’re stressed and follow an unhealthy diet, your beneficial gut bacteria can be affected. This causes a chemical imbalance in your system. You should ensure an array of healthy foods such as dairy, vegetables, and whole grains to improve your gut health.

Mindful Eating

It’s essential to pay attention to the types of foods you eat. Practising mindful eating can ensure you maintain your emotional and physical health. Gain a better insight into your eating habits to understand how what you eat influences your mood.

In some cases, eating disorders due to stress and related mental health conditions can worsen how you feel. For instance, when you have the urge to over-indulge when you’re feeling emotional, writing down how you’re feeling can be a better option. It’s crucial to understand how your emotional health affects your diet by being mindful of how you eat.

In summary, food has an impact on your emotional and mental wellbeing. It’s necessary to understand the role that food plays to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you need advice on how your diet affects your mental health, you should consider using the Telehealth Consulting service offered by Affinity Health.

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