Z.E.N. Foods – How Food Impacts Your Mood
October 21, 2020
There are many factors that influence mental illnesses. The food and mood connection has been acknowledged as one of the main factors behind the behavioral symptoms of such illnesses.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of food towards your mood, mental health, and overall well being.
Understanding Nutrition for Your Brain
Just like the rest of the organs in our bodies, our brains need good nutrition to be in good physical health. The brain has high nutrient demands. In fact, 20% — around 400 calories — of the daily calories consumed by an individual is used by the brain.
It is no surprise that the brain requires such a large amount of caloric intake. This organ is in charge of performing intellectual activities and controlling our motor skills.
Nutritional Value of Foods and the Brain
The correlation between food and mood refers to how the food we eat, impacts our feelings and behavior. If a certain food has no nutritional value, it does not provide any nutrients that can benefit your brain. However, even worse, food may harm your organs — including your brain.
While the caloric intake is crucial, it is most important which kind of calories we are feeding to our brains.
Foods that Negatively Impact Your Mood
Although, it is common for Western diets to include foods high in caloric intake with low nutritional value. This issue can lead to weight gain issues and also affect your mental health.
Foods that negatively impact your mood usually are:
- High in processed fats
- Inflated in processed sugar or sugar-sweetened
- High in refined grains (such as white bread)
Foods That Positively Impact Your Mood
Overall, a diet based on nutrient-dense foods will have a good impact on your mental and physical health. Some studies suggested that diets rich in tryptophan foods could help improve mental health since tryptophan aids in the production of serotonin – the hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness.
For your diet to positively impact your mental health, we recommend consuming foods which nutritional value stands out on the following characteristics:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Rich in fiber
- Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
- Lean and organic products
- Products that support healthy gut bacteria
How Gut Health Impacts Your Mood
While serotonin plays a major role in the body by contributing to well-being, about 95% of this hormone is produced in the gastrointestinal tract.
However, for your gastrointestinal system to be able to produce serotonin without any issues, there are two main factors to consider: Inflammation and bacteria production.
A lining of the nervous system is found in the gastrointestinal system. The gastrointestinal tract contains about a hundred million nerve cells. Therefore, if your gastrointestinal system isn’t in good health, your emotional health will also be affected.
That is why it is recommended to avoid consuming inflammatory foods that may harm your gastrointestinal tract , such as refined grains, sugar-sweetened drinks or foods, red meats, and coffee, among others.
Bacteria is essential to maintain good gut health because it:
- Protects the intestines lining against toxins
- Helps to limit inflammation
- Assists in absorbing nutrients from foods
It is recommended to consume unprocessed fermented foods or other natural sources of probiotics to ensure the production of good bacteria in your gastrointestinal system.
Start feeling emotionally and physically better by nurturing your body with the help of Z.E.N. Foods. We offer healthy meal delivery plans that you can customize according to your dietary needs and budget. Let us help you!