The best example we can all relate to in regards to a particular food group affecting our mood is the famous ‘sugar rush’ we experience after eating a bar of chocolate. It’s that burst of energy we receive as our taste buds revel in the sweetness and our brains go into overdrive. Then it wears off and we’re left feeling tired, flat and sometimes even a bit grumpy.
It’s no secret that food affects our mood as our bodies react to the breakdown and processing of what we’ve just consumed. If you are feeling healthy and content, you will more than likely be in balanced and happy mood. However, if you are feeling lethargic and somewhat unsettled in your stomach, your mood is more than likely to reflect that.
So why does what we eat affect how we feel?
The scientific answer is that we have in fact two ‘brains’ – one in our stomach and one in our head that are connected to one another via our vagus nerve. This explains why we have cravings and why our diet directly affects how we feel emotionally.
The three most influential food groups we can digest to cause mood swings are:
- Processed foods
The body’s natural make-up does not nutritionally require excess amounts of these above groups, in fact many people have cut them out of their diet completely. With the increasing number of people suffering from mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, a link can be somewhat made with our increased consumption of bad food. It is easy to see a very subtle trend.
If you are feeling unsatisfied, lethargic, nauseous or just generally unwell after eating, then this is your body’s way of telling you that it is not receiving the nutrients it needs. Simply put, the first step to getting yourself into a good mood starts with what food you’re eating.