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Does Food Really Affect Our Moods?

Mar 27, 2018 | QA, Wellness

Junk food and refined sugars are everywhere in today’s society. The hustle and bustle of life makes us eat on the run instead of eating for health. Instead of cooking healthy food at home, it is much easier today to run out to get a hamburger and fries meal deal, supersized of course, for .50 cents more. Not all fast foods are created equal though. Many of them include high amounts of sodium, added sugars, and trans-fat which is not good for our physical and mental health in the long run.

In fact, our food is really meant to fuel energy for our body. Finding foods that boost our mood and give us the stamina we need to live our healthiest, is more imperative than eating foods that may satisfy our taste buds. Our brains can be greatly affected by the foods we eat. Since our brains are working 24 hours a day, even when we are asleep, it is important to eat foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress which is indicative of negatively affecting our moods.

Serotonin is produced is the gastrointestinal tract which is lined with nerve cells that not only help with digestion, but are also instrumental in regulating our moods. These neurons have a direct link from the gut to the brain. Putting healthy food into our stomach creates a chain reaction that affects our mood just like serotonin does in our brain. Using real food, the way that it is intended for, can help to limit our capacity to have stress, anxiety, or depression. Establishing a strategy to make healthy food a high priority, can be as easy as following a few dietary suggestions.

  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Take time for a balanced breakfast.
    • Fiber
    • Lean protein
    • Healthy fats
  • Add Omega-3’s 3-4 times a week.
    • Salmon
    • Flax seed
    • Walnuts
  • Choose Foods with Selenium.
    • Seafood
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Lean protein
    • Low-fat dairy
    • Whole-grains
    • Legumes
  • Eat complex carbohydrates.
    • Vegetables
    • Whole-grains
    • Legumes
  • Get enough Vitamin D
    • Fortified Orange juice
    • Fortified Low-fat milk
    • Egg yolks
    • Salmon
    • Mushrooms
    • Soy milk
  • Get enough Vitamin B-12
    • Broccoli
    • Oatmeal
    • Oranges
    • Dark leafy greens

Thinking about the diet that we are putting into our bodies is helpful in many ways including overseeing a positive attitude. Eating healthy and clean can go a long way in boosting our mood with food.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help someone who is struggling with drugs and alcohol make better decisions based on their diet. Our staff can guide them to have better life skills that will help them to improve their mood.

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