Imagine this: your brain is like a busy conductor, directing your thoughts, feelings, and body's activities nonstop, even while you're asleep. To keep this conductor going, it needs a steady supply of energy, and that energy mainly comes from the food you eat. In simple terms, what you put on your plate can have a big impact on how you feel and how well your brain works. Let's dive into how the food you choose can make a real difference in your mood and mental health.
How Good Food Can Boost Your Mood
Your brain is like a mood maestro, creating chemicals called neurotransmitters. Some foods provide the ingredients these messengers need to do their job right. For example, lentils and paneer contain tryptophan, which helps create serotonin - a mood booster. Another example and one I personally love is dark chocolate, which contains phenylethylamine, a compound that can enhance the release of endorphins - the body's natural feel-good chemicals - further contributing to a positive mood.
Also Read: Food and Mood: 10 Foods That Make You Feel Good
How Good Food Can Keep Peace in Your Body
Certain foods can be troublemakers, causing inflammation in your body, which can mess with your brain and mood. For instance, processed foods high in trans fats, such as fried snacks and certain baked goods, are notorious culprits when it comes to triggering inflammation. Similarly, excessive consumption of sugary beverages and red meat has been linked to increased inflammation. Additionally, incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric and ginger into your diet can help keep the peace within your body and, in turn, support a more balanced mood and mental well-being.
Also Read: 8 Healthy Foods That You May Add To Your Everyday Meals
How Good Food Can Connect Your Gut and Brain
Your gut and brain are like best friends, always chatting. Eating foods that keep your gut healthy, like yogurt with probiotics or raita, fermented foods like idli or dosa, and fibre-rich foods, can help your brain stay happy.
How Good Food Can Tame Blood Sugar
When you eat sugary stuff or foods that quickly turn into sugar in your blood, it's like a rollercoaster ride for your mood. You go up and then crash down, making you feel irritable or tired. Steadier blood sugar levels, from balanced meals with whole grains like brown rice or roti, help you stay emotionally even.
How Good Food Can Bring Balance with B Vitamins
B vitamins are like conductors for your mood orchestra. They help your brain stay in harmony. Lentils, spinach, and whole grains are packed with these essential B vitamins.
Also Read: What Is Vitamin B-Complex And Where To Get It Naturally
How Good Food Can Boost Brain Power with Omega-3
Recent research suggests that there may be a connection between consuming omega-3 and an increase in brain functioning for people in midlife. Other studies show that omega-3 can improve brain cognition throughout all stages of life. In one study, scientists gave tuna fish oil to infants during their first five years and then measured academic performance up until they were nine. They found that kids with higher omega-3 levels had better literacy and numeracy performance. Make sure you get your fix of Omega-3s – they're commonly found in fish and other seafood (especially fatty fish), nuts and seeds (like flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts), and plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil).
In a nutshell, your food choices impact not only your belly but also your mood and mind. So, choose mood-boosting eats, skip the party poopers, and conduct your own mood orchestra for a happier, healthier you!
About The Author: Gayatri Chona is a nutritionist, wellness coach, and the founder of the healthy snacking company 'phab'.
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