5 Ways that Healthy Food Can Affect Mood

While food does have an effect on mood, the effects are often overstated or misunderstood. For example,parents often blame the presence of sugar in their children’s diet with their hyperactivity, but often children and adults alike are impacted by not only the presence of certain ingredients, but also by the absence of others.

While some foods are known to impact the body physically, often we forget that the food that we eat impacts our mental ability as well which leads us to realize perhaps there is some truth in that old saying “you are what you eat.”

Here are some of the most common things you may be ingesting daily that can have an impact on your overall mood.

1. Caffeine

The effects of caffeine on a person’s mood are well-known and backed up by lots of scientific evidence.  Its presence in the body helps produce serotonin which is the chemical that is associated with those who are generally happy.

For those suffering from depression, often a lack of serotoninis to blame. In fact, a recent study was released which showed that women who drink coffee daily are at a lower risk of suffering from depression than their caffeine – free peers.  Of course, the use of caffeine should be moderated as it does also have well-known unpleasant effects like insomnia and anxiety, but there is no reason that a person should not be able to drink a couple of cups of coffee a day.

2. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, when ingested in small amounts throughout the day, have been shown to improve a person’s mood. The key is moderation and maintaining a balance of insulin in the bloodstream. Big swings in sugar levels have a way of causing big swings in mood.

3. Tryptophan

The amino acid tryptophan, commonly associated with turkey, is believed by many people to be a kind of sedative. It is also somewhat controversial. While some nutritionists believe that the sleepiness after a thanksgiving meal would occur after any large meal with or without turkey, others continue to believe that tryptophan helps blood sugar to get to neurotransmitters, which in turn affects mood. A diet rich in tryptophan may have an effect on serotonin production in a person’s brain.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help with a person’s mood as these fatty acids aid in brain function in those areas of the brain that are concerned with mood and behavior. These fatty acids are found in fish oil and can be taken either in pill form or by increasing the amount of fish in the diet. One study of people with bipolar disorder showed considerable improvement in mood among participants taking fish oil supplements when compared those taking a placebo.

5. Folic Acid

It is thought that a deficiency folic acid, which is found in fruits and certain leafy vegetables, is thought to have an effect on mood, possibly causing depression. Foods such as spinach and legumes are rich sources of the chemical, so a person who is depressed may want to try increasing the amount of these things in their diet.

Author Bio:

Olivia Jones is a health and fitness blogger who focuses on mental health and how it can be improved through holistic practices like self hypnosis and positive imagery.

Emily Murray

Emily Murray is a journalism school graduate and the communications specialist for the online skin care website Bellarx.

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