Dieting is primarily associated with weight loss. Few people know that the food they eat has a negative or positive effect on their mood. What is the best way to eat to feel happy?
What impact does diet have on mental health?
There is much more to the term diet than just weight loss. It is a daily diet and eating habits. All of these have a huge impact on a person’s physical and mental health.
A properly balanced diet provides many micro and macro elements necessary for the body. An improper diet has a negative impact on health:
- physical, triggers include:
The gut, and mental health
Physical and mental health are intertwined. Few people know that gut bacteria have a huge impact on neurological connections. The gut and brain are connected by the vagus nerve, or vagus ─ the longest and largest nerve in the human body.
A huge influence on mood is the hormone serotonin. People who are deficient in it suffer from:
- a tendency to aggression,
- lowered pain threshold,
- compulsive obsessions,
As much as 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut. Therefore, what we eat makes a huge difference in mental health.
What foods have a negative impact on our health?
Processed foods with lots of preservatives and additives have a very negative impact on mental and physical health. Most of the colorings added to sweets and beverages have stimulating effects and trigger aggression, among other things. Colors that negatively affect emotions are e.g:
- E102 (tartrazine) added to orangeade, among others;
- E110 (orange yellow) added to chewing gum, jelly, gels, among others;
- E122 (azorubine) red colorant that can be found in dairy desserts, puddings, quiches, among others;
- E211 (sodium benzoate);
- E220- E228 sulfates;
- E261- monosodium glutamate;
Eating too much sugar and its derivatives also has a negative impact on mental health. The most harmful to health is:
- glucose-fructose syrup,
- E951 (aspartame),
- E954 (saccharin),
- E950 (acesulfame).
Consuming products that have these artificial sweeteners in them leads to large fluctuations in blood insulin and elevated neurotransmitter levels. This causes:
- problems with concentration.
“A hungry Pole is a bad Pole”─ is this saying true?
An old Polish proverb says that “a hungry man is a bad man”. There is some truth in it. When the blood sugar level is too low, it causes quarrelsomeness and fits of aggression. When sugar levels begin to drop, the hypothalamus begins to produce the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which block the happy hormone (serotonin).
Does excess meat cause aggression?
There is a theory among vegetarians that eating meat in excessive amounts can result in an increased tendency to aggression. This theory is true to some extent because there are substances in meat, mainly red meat, that contribute to increased levels of testosterone, which is responsible for, among other things, excessive aggression and tendency to use violence.
Fast food causes aggression?
British scientist Robert McCarrison conducted a study in which he showed the negative effects of fast food on behavior. In his study, he proved that rats that were exclusively fed fast food were more aggressive than individuals fed normally.
What should you eat to be happy?
The diet of happy people includes foods rich in tryptophan (an amino acid), which is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin. Foods rich in this amino acid are:
- whole grain breads;
- fish such as halibut;
- pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds,
- dried dates.
Providing the body with adequate amounts of vit. B6, which can be found in:
- buckwheat groats,
- meat (turkey and pork),
- citrus fruits,
Eating only good fats
Fatty acids, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, play a very important role in the proper functioning of the nervous system:
- pumpkin seeds,
- flax seeds.
Vit. D essential for happy people
Vitamin D deficiency causes irritability and lethargy, so especially during the fall and winter season, you should introduce into your diet:
- fish such as:
- yellow cheese,
- fish oil.
Main article photo: photo by Julien L, source: unsplash.com