Health and Wellness

How Food Affects Your Mood?

“We are what we eat.”

We have heard this quote time and again.

How does food affect your mood?

But what we need to realize is that the relation of food to our bodies goes way beyond the superficial ways of knowing what to eat and how much.

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Today everyone is geared up to be fitter. They do all sorts of things to look good. They keep pumping themselves with protein shakes, energy bars, and whatnot!

In all that buzz, you forget how to connect with food and fail to notice how your body responds to the food you eat, as well as how food affects your mood and thoughts.

Yes, food does affect your thoughts.

To feel aligned with mental, physical, and spiritual levels, you need to give your body the right food to nourish it.
Scientists are now discovering the effect of what you consume on not just being disease-free and healthy, but also how it alters your brain chemistry.

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Your gut is known as your second brain

And that is because the gastrointestinal lining is covered with several nerve endings and neurons. So when they say, “rely on your gut feeling”, they are actually asking you to get in tune with your second brain.

People who have a sound mind-body connection have strong intuitive powers. This helps them to make sound decisions. This harmony can only be achieved through good gut health.

The hormone ‘serotonin’ is extremely important for sound mental health. A lack of serotonin makes you feel blue. And this hormone is made in your gut.

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Based on the foods you eat, your digestive system makes either enough or less of this hormone.

Whole unprocessed foods like wholegrain cereals help to produce more of this feel-good hormone. Whereas, a western diet rich in processed foods, white bread, sugary drinks depletes your body of this essential nutrient.

Having fermented foods rich in probiotics helps to maintain the microflora balance of your gut. This keeps your digestive system healthy.

If you are constipated, your body is unable to get rid of the toxins from your system. And a lot of mood disorders seem to occur from something as simple as having bad digestion.

(Whoever feels good when they are constipated! That reminds me of the line by Piku’s father, who said: “Your emotions is connected with your motion”).

Although, when you are depressed, you may crave for foods like desserts and ice-creams, as they give you the sugar rush to make you feel high.

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The effect is only temporary and then there’s a further slowdown, where you feel even more miserable than you were, to begin with.

On the other hand, if you have natural raw foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables it makes you feel fresher and lighter. This is because the plant makes the food through photosynthesis trapping in light energy.

Plant foods are abundant in vital life force.

When you plant a seed, it gives birth to a new life. So when you consume this life-giving energy, it automatically makes you feel humbled and happy.

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Eating raw foods helps to release repressed emotions.

Eating dead foods on the other hand (like too much of meat, particularly processed ones such as sausages, salami, and other polished cereals, etc) makes you feel tired all the time.

Having a lot of meat increases hormones such as dopamine & adrenaline. These hormones are naturally produced under stressful conditions as a fight or flight response to alert and protect you.

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It makes you aggressive. This is precisely how food affects your mood.

What can you do to avoid this?

Let me give you an example. When you go out for a meal over the weekend and eat your heart out. You pile up your plate with a lot of heavy yet tasty foods which you usually stuff yourself with.

How do you feel the next morning? Do you feel up and at em, or would you rather just laze around?

There! We have it! Processed foods suck the vital life force from you. It makes you feel sluggish.

Give this a try. Eliminate a few bad foods from your diet for a few days; even if it’s just for 2 or 3 days at the maximum.

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Reduce your caffeine intake to the bare minimum, avoid any foods with refined sugar, have a whole grain roti instead of white bread.

Add an extra serving of cooked vegetables and raw salads. Start your day with a bowl of fruit. Observe how your body reacts to the changes. Notice a change in your energy levels. Make a note of how you feel.

What if you can’t follow this routine for long?

You might fall off the bandwagon. After all, it is not easy to let go of the years of conditioning. That’s okay! Get back up, and restart the next day.

The little deviation only means that you get some time to take a break, re-integrate with yourself, and again get back to eating right.

Once you realize how food affects your mood, you start treating your body as a temple.

And when you do that, you automatically start making efforts to keep it clean. You won’t then just put in any kind of trash, but be more mindful of serving it the right kind of food.

As you grow spiritually, you stop looking at food as a mere means of filling your stomach.

But you start to subconsciously choose foods that help you heal and connect with the mental and physical level.

So, now you know how food affects your mood!

Dr. Nida Kazi

Dr Nida Kazi is a health coach & nutritionist specialising in sports nutrition and Doctor of alternative medicine (M.D, A.M). She is a fitness enthusiast and firmly believe in the priniciple of eating right and exercising regularly. She likes exploring different cuisines and finding the interesting facts behind all foods and researching their origin. And what is life without a little sliver of nature, her interests involve hiking in the woods, going on adventurous expeditions and water sports.

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