Food and Mood
Food and Mood

How Food Determines Your Mood

Here are some diet tips to help boost your mood and keep you cheerful all day long

Dr. JPS Bakshi | Jan 21, 2021

A healthy gut is significant for happiness. It is a proven fact that our digestive system not only helps in digesting food but also guides our emotions and is very closely linked with our mood. The link between our digestive system and our brain is known as the Gut-Brain Axis. This communication works both ways, which means that the gut and the brain are constantly talking and influencing each other. It is observed that the way our emotions affect the functioning of our digestive system, gut health also influences our mood and thinking. Thus it becomes important to take care of your gut health. So, to feel good inside and out, ensure that the food you put in your system is the right one.

The hormone connection

The major hormone which helps to stabilize and uplift your mood is known as ‘Serotonin’. Also known as the happiness hormone, increase in Serotonin will elevate your mood, while lack of it can cause sadness and low feeling.

There are millions and trillions of bacteria living inside our gut. These microbes communicate with the brain by regulating the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, that help in various functions of the body. The majority of these hormones are produced in the gut. One of them, Serotonin, is responsible for regulating our mood.Therefore, an imbalance of the gut microbiome can have profound health effects on the entire body including our mental health.
With this understanding, if you nourish the gut bacteria through the right diet and nutritious food, you can improve your mental health. Because they hold the keys to radiant health and ultimate happiness.

When in search of happiness, joy or uplifting your mood, food is your number one supporter. And if happiness starts in the gut, then one must eat their way to joy.

The Right Diet Concoction

However, chasing happiness through fast food and junkloaded with sugar and low-quality fats is not the solution and does more harm than good. Such food can lead to gut dysbiosis and can later develop a condition known as leaky gut, which has been linked with many mood disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

By eating a fibrous, colorful, plant-rich rainbow diet,you can ensure the necessary nourishment of the gut bacteria to keep your health in high spirits. On the other hand, probiotic-rich food is also very helpful for your gut health, improved mood and reducing stress or anxiety. But a probiotic diet alone cannot ensure good gut health.

A probiotic diet accompanied with a full diet of refined carbohydrates, processed or packaged foods will hardly make a difference. It is essential to create an appropriate environment for probiotics to sustain. This can be achieved by eating nutritious food and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, one needs to appreciate that gut bacteria are solely reliant on what we eat. It is crucial to feed yourself with the right nutrition every day, not only for your overall growth or happiness but also for the bacteria residing inside you.

What to Eat

Here are some options that can help you boost your mood and keep you going all day long:

-Fill yourself with whole grains: These are a good source of fiber and Vitamins which are beneficial for both gut and brain health. The complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, sorghum, or millets etc. help the blood sugar levels to stay on track and keeping us full for a long time. This prevents from feeling hungry, irritable, or cranky more easily.

-Go green: Eating a wide array of vegetables, with lots of dark leafy greens and high-fiber root vegetables,such as spinach, broccoli, carrot, beetroot, sweet potato etc. are filled with nutrients helpful in soothing stress and prevents low moods.

-A healthy sweet treat to uplift your mood can be done with fruits! Brighten up your meals with fruits as it is a great way to indulge whenever you want the craving for desserts. Eating a variety of fruits such as berries is ideal for starting your day. Banana is ideal to energize and cast away the morning blues.

-Going Nuts: Nuts are the best go-to foods for proteins, along with fiber and healthy fats such as omega 3, polyunsaturated fatty acids, etc. Food especially rich in these essential fats can be a big-time mood uplifter and plays a vital role in mental wellbeing. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and seeds such as Chia seeds, flax seeds are good sources of healthy fat and should be a part of your daily diet regime.

-Trying out dark chocolate is another good idea, as ‘chocolates do make us happy’. According to various studies, eating dark chocolates can help in reducing stress and uplifting mood because they are a rich source of antioxidants, iron and magnesium helping us to relax and feel much better.

No one food has a miracle cure, however a healthy diet full of all kinds of whole foods can work wonders in helping one feel their best. Therefore, we can say that the food which we eat surely affects how we feel.

(The author is the founder of Dr. Bakshi’s Healthcare)