By Crystal Springe, NTP
Have you ever considered which eating habits and specific foods might help you to feel happier and more energized? This blog post will illuminate the role food plays in influencing your mood.
Your brain requires a constant supply of fuel, fuel comes from the foods you eat and what is in that fuel makes a huge difference! What you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain, ultimately affecting your mood. It is necessary to eat high quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants that nourish and protect the brain. So, if you eat anything less than high quality, your brain will be affected.
Your brain is 60% solid fat so it needs essential fatty acids to function optimally. When your brain doesn’t get adequate amounts of healthy fat it slows down information processing and overall brain function. Omega 3 is a fatty acid that helps support mood, emotional balance and a healthy response to everyday stress. It is also imperative for lowering intestinal inflammation.
The lining of our intestines house a hundred million nerve cells, meaning that your digestive system doesn’t only digest your foods it also guides your emotions. Anxiety, depression, brain fog and lack of concentration can be linked to intestinal inflammation. 95% of serotonin, the feel good hormone, also resides in the gut. It regulates sleep, appetite, mediates moods and inhibits pain. Serotonin is highly influenced by the good bacteria in your gut, the microbiome.
The microbiome is the home of billions and trillions of microorganisms that play a vital role on our overall well-being which is why in order to keep them safe and live in harmony, we need to pay attention to the food we eat. Through the nerve cells in our intestinal lining, these microorganisms send signals directly to our central nervous system. This connection is referred to as the gut-brain axis. The health of these microorganisms directly controls the state of your mental health. Good bacteria levels are proven to lower anxiety levels, improve your mental outlook and perception of stress and lower the risk of depression by 25%-35%.
You can manage good bacteria by taking probiotics, eating fermented foods, eliminating poor quality foods (sugar, grains, processed foods) and managing stress. With the brain and digestive system being directly connected through the gut-brain axis, stress and emotions affect intestinal inflammation and the microbiome.
Along with examining your diet, consider developing a stress response management routine. You can choose to go to a professional for therapy, learn relaxation techniques or reconstruct your environment to make it less stressful.
There is a clear relationship between food and your state of mind. Having healthy eating habits can definitely affect our mental health, sleep quality, stress resistance, our entire body function, and overall well-being. If you’re experiencing any problems in any of these areas it would be important for you to develop eating strategies that enable you to regularly eat the foods that have a positive effect on your well-being, basically, you can plan meals that help you feel better. You can also avoid foods that may make you feel worse.
Reach out today for a complimentary 30 minute consultation with me to learn more about how you can start making a difference in how you feel by what you eat today.