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On Your Health

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The Relationship Between Food and Mood

26 April 2023

Food has a direct impact on our physical health, but it also plays a significant role in our mental and emotional well-being. The foods we eat can influence our mood, energy levels and cognitive function. Below are some of the ways in which food and mood are related.

Blood Sugar

The food we eat affects our blood sugar levels, which can have a direct impact on our mood. Consuming too many refined carbohydrates, such as sugary snacks and white bread, can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a crash. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, irritability and mood swings.

Serotonin

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and feelings of well-being. The production of serotonin is influenced by the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in foods such as turkey, chicken, eggs, cheese and tofu. Consuming these foods can help to increase serotonin levels and improve mood.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that are important for brain health and function. They are found in foods such as fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseeds. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome refers to the trillions of bacteria that live in our digestive system. These bacteria play a crucial role in our physical and mental health. Consuming a diet rich in fiber and plant-based foods can help to promote a healthy gut microbiome, which has been linked to improved mood and cognitive function.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that is found in coffee, tea and many soft drinks. While caffeine can provide a temporary boost in energy and mood, consuming too much can lead to feelings of anxiety and jitteriness.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential for bone health and immune function. It is also important for mood regulation, as low levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of depression. Foods that are high in vitamin D include fatty fish, mushrooms and fortified dairy products.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are important for brain function and energy production. They are found in foods such as whole grains, leafy greens and legumes. Low levels of B vitamins have been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

Visit INTEGRIS Health for More Information

While there is no one "magic" food that can cure depression or anxiety, adopting a balanced and healthy diet that is rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats can help to promote overall well-being and support mental health. 

 

Working with a healthcare professional to improve your diet is a great way to work toward improving your mental health. Schedule an appointment online with one of our providers to learn more.

 

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