What we put into our bodies has a lot to do with our health, how we look, and how we feel. But can it affect our mood? The answer is yes. If you have ever eaten a candy bar or had a milkshake, and then felt a sudden and intense wave of energy, you know that food can affect how you feel. However, there are other conditions in which food can impact your mood, from the specific foods you eat to your eating schedule and habits.
The chemistry of various foods can chemically and physiologically alter changes in our brain’s structure, which can lead to significant influence of mood and behavior:
#1 Unhealthy diet and depression
Research has indicated that having an unhealthy diet for an extended period can put you at risk for increasing symptoms of depression. Although there isn’t really proof that an unhealthy diet causes depression, it has been found that the two things are correlated.
#2 Sugar & stress
When you feel stressed out or overcome by anxiety, it is natural for the body to crave sugar; sugar helps to energize the body while it is trying to cope with negative feelings. However, if you feel stressed or anxious, your best option is to start regularly exercising, as this is a much better coping mechanism. Sugar may temporarily make you feel better, but after it is processed, you will likely feel worse.
#3 Food addiction
There have been studies that have shown that sugar is almost as addicting as some drugs. When it comes to exertion of food addiction symptoms, sugar is typically highly evident. Sweet and high-fat foods trigger the same pleasure centers in the brain as various addictive drugs do.
#4 Adolescent’s mental health and diet quality
According to a 2014 study of more than 4 thousand students in New Zealand, it was found that a high-quality diet was correlated with better mental health, while a low-quality diet was found to correlate with poor mental health. It goes both ways, as the two can play off one another, but your best bet for ultimate mental health is a well-balanced and healthy diet.
#5 Blood sugar and schizophrenia
It has been found that diabetes is more common among people who suffer from schizophrenia. Although there hasn’t been much empirical evidence on this, there has been a few found links that suggest a correlation between sugar metabolism and schizophrenia.
Being mindful about your eating habits is one of the best ways to conquer the emotionally-negative consequences of unhealthy eating. If you have any more questions about the links between food and mood, here at Lifeworks, we would be happy to help answer them. Contact our trusted Dallas therapy center today and let’s get started on a healthier happier you.