When we are sad and longing, one of our first reactions is to eat something delicious. Many websites have food & recipes blogs, but I’ll tell you about the influence of food on our well-being in this article. It is one of many pieces of evidence that food has a direct impact on our mood. And it is not only about psychology. It has a clear explanation from the point of view of biology. We talked and learned how our stomach and brain are connected. For example, what to eat in order not to feel sad.
How long have scientists investigated the effects of food on the brain?
After the 1980s, a branch of the food psychiatrist industry began. But these are mainly American scientists: in our country, very few people generally understand nutrition and nutrigenetics, that is, the effect of food on cells and genes. It is a very complex topic. But we have a popular – and help many people – psychologist who works with eating disorders.
A food psychiatrist is a very cool profession: what they do is a step towards longevity. But it is important to understand: if a person does not perform basic things, it makes no sense for him to study the details. All people want to know how many spoons of flaxseed oil to take or what bacteria should be contained in kefir. But at the same time, they do not pay attention to how much they sleep and whether they get enough rest. But this is a must. I have a SNARE technique: it stands for sleeping, nutrition, activity, and relaxation. In that order. As great as your diet is, it never replaces the benefits of adequate sleep. Sleep starts all processes, hormones, and changes, and it depends on what a person will eat and whether he wants to eat at all. When a person begins to comply with these basic rules, his quality of life will immediately improve.
Biological Reasons Our Diet Affects Our Mood and Well-Being
Scientists recently conducted a study comparing the Mediterranean diet to the standard American diet rich in saturated fat and simple carbohydrates. It turned out that people who followed the Mediterranean diet were less likely to develop depressive conditions. And about 30% of those who eat fatty foods and eat a lot of sweets just had signs of anxiety and depression.
The human intestine produces 95% of the neurotransmitter serotonin. The intestine is generally a very complex mechanism in which the diffuse endocrine system is located. How is it built? Usually, hormones are produced by glands, but in this case, we are talking about cells that produce substances of a hormonal nature. These cells are collected in small islets scattered throughout the intestine.
Serotonin, a hormone of pleasure, is formed from the amino acid tryptophan, which is found mainly in protein products of animal origin: eggs, meat, fish, dairy products. But there is a question – pleasure arises in the brain, as well as depression. And serotonin is produced in the intestines. Accordingly, there is a connection – pathways that connect nerve cells to the intestines and the brain. Therefore, everything that is produced in the intestines – metabolic products, microflora affects the functioning of the brain and even how we think.
The first product for the brain to work is glucose. But this does not mean that you need to eat sweets or chocolate. You can find glucose in whole grains: cereals, legumes, which contain long-chain starch. When we eat such food, insulin gradually rises, which increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier for this very tryptophan. Therefore, if you are not in the mood, do not eat sweets – eat fish and potatoes or cereals, and you will get more pleasure for a longer period.
What food has a beneficial effect on the mental and mental state
All diets that are good for brain function and slow down degenerative processes are similar in that there are no simple sugars, which means that there are no sudden jumps in insulin, there is no high glycemic load. To multiply the correct microflora, you need to eat vegetables – not in basins, literally 500-600 grams per day. In addition – whole, simple, unmilled, unprocessed foods: a piece of meat, whole grains – oats, buckwheat, unpolished rice. You shouldn’t eat very chopped couscous or semolina – they contain too little nutrients. You also don’t need to be afraid of legumes – you need to cook them correctly and soak them for a long time. Legumes, like cereals, have a very healthy shell full of fiber. The same foods include berries – their peel is rich in bioflavonoids and prebiotic substances. When all of these foods are constantly present in the diet – whole grains, legumes, vegetables, berries, fatty fish, avocados, extra virgin olive oil – all this has a very positive effect on the prevention of depression and depression. In addition, all fermented foods – for example, aged cheese – are rich in prebiotic substances: sauerkraut, kombucha, coconut yogurt. What has fermented contributes to the development of the correct microflora.
Do not eat animal products is okay: if you do not forget about legumes and grains, this will be enough. But here is another point – often vegans and vegetarians sin with sweets, they eat a lot of honey or agave syrups. These are all empty sugars that also lead to anxiety. The high fructose content causes inflammation – and inflammation of the brain in the first place.