How Food Affects Your Mood
This was a food-filled weekend for many of us. I think we all understand that certain foods can leave us feeling bloated, nauseous and groggy. But did you know that food can affect your mood as well? If you’re finding it hard to keep up with the demands of your work and family life because you’re feeling down or stressed it might be time to revamp your diet.
INFLAMMATION AND YOUR BRAIN
Many foods can trigger inflammation. This is especially true for processed foods and foods you have an intolerance or sensitivity to. This inflammation can happen in your gut as well as the rest of your body. It has been found that inflammation in your body is able to affect what goes on in your brain – and not in a good way. The inflammation can trigger feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression.
THE GUT-MOOD CONNECTION
When you eat foods that your body can’t deal with, it damages the health of your gut bacteria. As bizarre as it sounds, the health of your gut bacteria is deeply connected to your mental health. Scientists have associated unhealthy gut bacteria with mood problems. Giving your body the right foods can improve your gut health.
NUTRIENTS AND BLOOD SUGAR
Adding the right foods into the diet is just as important as taking the wrong foods out. In order to feel your best, your diet needs to be rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, quality protein and other phytochemicals. These are key nutrients for a healthy brain and happy mood. Your diet also needs to be able to keep blood sugar levels stable as spikes and crashes in blood sugar are a recipe for stress and anxiety.
If you feel like you don’t have time to do all the things that are important for keeping mood troubles at bay, just start with small improvements to your diet. You will notice a difference over time. If you need help fixing your diet or if you’re wondering if you need food sensitivity testing, don’t hesitate to reach out. The connection between diet and mood is often overlooked. The sooner you get your diet right, the sooner you can get back to feeling like yourself so you can tackle your day with enthusiasm and be present and fully engaged with your loved ones.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected].