Food and Mood

By Kritin Shankar and Hariharan




Food and mood sound very rhyming right. Yeah, but in fact there is a lot of matter

between these two words. Yes, we are going to explain how does the food that we

eat affect our state of mind or mood. Talking about the “brain” even though it

compromises only 2% of the whole-body weight but it uses roughly uses around

20% of the food that we eat in order to function properly, most of the energy comes

from carbs that are converted into glucose or blood sugar. The frontal lobes of the

brain whose functions are involved in motor function, problem solving and memory

etc. The frontal lobes of the brain are very sensitive to decrease in glucose levels of

the body that and also changes that we observe in our mental functions are a result

of nutrient deficiency.


If we take a look at our diet, it consists mainly of carbs they come mainly in three

Forms starch, sugar, and fibres. The ratio of sugar – fibre subgroups to the whole

amount of carbs decides how our body and brain responds whether in a positive

way or negative way. A high glycaemic rich food like ice-cream, burger’s & white

bread etc… causes a very rapid release of blood sugar in the body and after some

time there is a slight dip in the blood sugar levels so does our attention as well as us

mood, comparatively foods like oats, spinach, barley, and other vegetables cause a

slow release of blood sugar in the body causing a steady and constant level of

attentiveness.


The brain is an organ with very high metabolic and nutrient demands.  If you sucked

all of the moisture out of your brain and broke it down to its constituent nutritional

content. Most of the weight of your dehydrated brain would come from fats, also

known as lipids. In the remaining brain matter, you would find proteins and amino

acids, traces of micronutrients, and glucose. Each component does have a distinct

impact on functioning, development, mood, and energy. For the fats in your brain, the good fats such as omega 3 & 6. These essential fatty acids, which have been linked to preventing degenerative brain conditions, must come from our diets. So, eating omega-rich foods, like nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, is crucial to the creation and

maintenance of cell membranes. And while omegas are good fats for your

brain, long-term consumption of other fats, like trans and saturated fats, may

compromise brain health. Meanwhile, proteins and amino acids, the building block

nutrients of growth and development manipulate how we feel and behave. Amino

acids contain the precursors to neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that

carry signals between neurons, affecting things like mood, sleep, attentiveness, and

weight.


IMPORTANCE OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS

These are chemical messengers connect the brain and spinal cord with the rest of

your body and with your muscles, organs, and glands. Your brain’s billions of nerves

cells make trillions of connections with each other. (These are called synapses.)

Then, each nerve cell generates electrical signals that travel with help from those

brainy chemical messengers. These chemical envoys may affect every cell, tissue,

and system in your body. When your brain’s chemical transmitters are healthy and in

balance, you may think more clearly, feel less anxious, and enjoy a more positive

outlook.


There are two chemicals in our body dopamine and serotonin out of which the former

Is “AKA” feel good hormone responsible for deciding our mood. If u have a

deficiency of Dopamine in your body you will be subjected to depression, mood

swings etc and vice-versa if u have good levels of dopamine in your body. To

increase dopamine levels you should start having protein rich food such as egg and

meat in your diet. L- theanine the building block of dopamine which acts as an

relaxation factor is richly available in green tea. We can also have nuts & salads that

have been proves to improve our dopamine levels. Next coming to serotonin this

chemical plays an important role in regulating our sleep patterns, motivation levels

and etc. Around 95 % of serotonin is present in our guts and it is released from our gut

to the brain, serotonin is released from our gut to the brain along with carbs like pasta

and pizza which makes them carbs addictive. If u have good serotonin levels in your

body u will be most likely to be relaxed. You can have carrots, apples etc.. To have

healthy serotonin levels.


Finally, you are what you eat changing your diet to improve your mood and wellbeing for a positive mindset by making small changes to your diet by having low glycaemic level foods will help change your lifestyle and your mood. When it comes to what you bite, chew, and swallow, your choices have a direct and long-lasting effect on the most powerful organ in your body.


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