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You are what you eat. How does eating affect our moods?

In our fast-paced world, our lifestyles are filled with constant demands and challenges that can impact our ability to prioritise our wellbeing. It’s no surprise that there are many factors that contribute to our overall mood, but one of the most important (and oftentimes overlooked) is the food we consume. Recently, more studies have been put out showing that the foods we eat have the power to significantly impact our mood. By understanding this mind-body connection and making conscious choices about our nutrition, we can cultivate a positive and balanced emotional state. In this blog post, we will explore our favourite tips and tricks on how we can optimise our diet for emotional well-being.

Our first tip is understanding the connection between our gut and brain, often referred to as the gut-brain axis. Emerging research suggests that the gut and the brain continuously communicate through a network of neurons, hormones, and biochemical signals. The foods we consume play a crucial role in this intricate system, influencing the production of neurotransmitters and impacting our mood-regulating hormones.

In particular, Serotonin, often referred to as the "feel-good" neurotransmitter, is heavily influenced by the foods we eat. Certain foods, such as those rich in tryptophan (an amino acid), can boost serotonin levels, increasing your levels of calm and happiness. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts) have been linked to improved mood and reduce symptoms of depression.

The gut microbiome, which is essentially a collection of trillions of microorganisms residing in our digestive system, has a profound impact on our mental well-being. Research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome, nourished by a diverse range of fibre-rich plant foods, can positively influence our mood. Certain probiotic-rich foods, such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kefir, can also support a healthy gut by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, potentially enhancing our emotional resilience.

Moreover, the foods we choose impact our blood sugar levels, and maintaining stable blood sugar is essential for stable mood and energy levels. Consuming foods with a high glycemic index, such as sugary snacks and refined carbohydrates, can cause rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, leading to mood swings, irritability, and fatigue. On the other hand, opting for complex carbohydrates, fibre-rich foods, and balanced meals can help maintain stable blood sugar levels, promoting sustained energy and a more stable mood.

Ultimately, the foods we eat have a profound impact on our moods and emotional well-being. By incorporating nutrient-dense foods, supporting stable blood sugar levels, and nurturing a healthy gut microbiome, we can take positive steps towards cultivating a positive mood.


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