What you eat matters, it can definitely affect your mood. You can naturally shape your mental well-being by stimulating serotonin or reduce it by the choice of food you put on your plate.
What is serotonin?
Simply put, serotonin is a chemical (neurotransmitter) that the body uses to transmit messages between nerve cells mainly produced in the bowels/gastrointestinal tract as well as in the brain and it is also found in the blood platelets. It is the key chemical that interacts with your brain based on what you eat, it is responsible for our entire body, psychologically and physically. It regulates our mood, feelings, sleeping, digestion, and eating. Serotonin is highly associated with forming relationships that being marketing and influencing. It is released when we laugh, the very same physiological reaction as when we fall in love – possibly the greatest partnership of all.
Food and your mood.
An estimated 90% of serotonin is made in the gastrointestinal tract where your food is digested hence it is very crucial to have a healthy gut. Serotonin also referred to as a ‘hormone’ that makes you feel happy and content, whereas an absence of it makes you feel distressed. Carbohydrates can trigger the release of serotonin and that is why they make most individuals feel contentment.
Food that can affect your mood positively
- Bananas, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, nuts, cheese, eggs, and beans all contain generous levels of tryptophan the forerunner to serotonin. Tryptophan is found in almost all protein-rich foods so to boost its levels you have to eat these smart carb’s.
- Pickles and yogurt-packed with probiotics that are good for the digestive tract
- Berries-Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries can help to regulate the hormone that is released during anxiety
- healthy fats-extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, oily fish can help to prevent symptoms of depression
- nuts-almonds, beans, lentils, walnuts can help reduce anxiety and depression
- dark leafy greens like broccoli and spinach provide the body with good gut bacteria, therefore, improving good mental health
Food to stay away from
- stay clear of saturated fats like hamburgers, potato chips, fast foods, fried foods as they prevent the natural production of the neurotransmitter and they also impact your state of mind and the long-term neurotransmitter balance.
- highly processed food
- refined sugars-sweets or sodas can cause fluctuations in blood levels
For keeping your gastrointestinal tract healthy indulge in fruits such as lime and kiwi and vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli and lettuce.
what can you change to boost mental health?
- drink plenty of water and other fluids
- exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
- follow a healthy eating plan eating small meals at set intervals
- have healthy snacks in between the meals and avoid refined sugars.
- most importantly eat a variety of foods i.e., smart carb’s, proteins, and healthy fats
To avoid mood fluctuation, you need to be mindful of what you put in your mouth. Go ahead and experiment with different foods to see what they will do to your mood, not just that but your energy levels as well as your sense of being alert. This kind of diet has the potential to reduce the risk of depression.
**CREATE THE HABIT OF BREAKING UNHEALTHY HABITS**