How Food Affects Us Emotionally
We are all familiar with the way that eating different foods can invoke memories and a corresponding emotional response in us. This is why family recipes are so special to many people; by cooking that recipe, no matter where they are, individuals are able to remind themselves of particular times, places, or people.
When we eat food, such as candy bars and doughnuts, which is high in sugar, we often experience a burst in mood and energy soon afterwards. Not only do foods high in sugar induce a better mood and raise our emotional state, they also trigger the reward and pleasure pathways in our brains. This means that they can become addictive and have a broader effect on our mood.
Not Eating Enough
When we don’t eat enough food, or the food that we do eat isn’t varied enough, then our brains don’t have access to the necessary precursors in order to produce the neurotransmitters required to maintain our mood and overall functioning.
There are three neurotransmitters which are of special importance to regulating our moods. These are serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. The exact role that each of these plays in our overall emotional wellbeing is not yet fully understood, although we are making progress. Check out this guide from examined existence to find out what is dopamine.
Foods that are high in sugar can trigger a temporarily improved mood, but in the long run consuming particularly sugary foods leads to an array of health issues which are easily avoidable. Regularly consuming food which is high in sugar can lead to both physical an emotional health issues, however it is still possible to receive the benefits of improved energy and mood from other foods. Foods which are high in protein are particularly good in this respect.
Vitamins are commonly misunderstood substances. We are all aware that we should be trying to get our daily recommended dose of vitamins but there are many myths about why this is. For example, some people are under the impression that high doses of vitamins can function as miracle cures for a range of conditions. In fact, while vitamins are certainly important, their biological functions are more complex than simply making us healthy.
We now know that a deficiency in certain vitamins, in particular vitamin D, is linked to higher rates of depression and a lower overall sense of well being. Similarly, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests a link between levels of another vitamin, vitamin B12, and the general mood of individuals.
Foods that are high in fiber slow down the rate at which we absorb sugar in to our bloodstreams. This effect, combined with an increase in the amount of serotonin in our systems, is believed to be responsible for the mood boosting effects of high-fiber foods.
Eating a well rounded and balanced diet is essential for maintaining our overall health. It isn’t just our physical health that is at risk when we fail to get all the essential nutrients that we need, we also risk our emotional health and wellbeing.