Are emotions and food-related to each other? The study of human emotions has exhibited how food can impact mood swings, happiness levels, and even patience. Food being the fuel for the body and nutrition being the component of the fuel highly influences the emotional state of every human. Our choice of food determines how good or irritable we feel.
The mindful choice of food can ensure a better quality of life. On the contrary, stuffing yourself up with junk food can lead you to lose confidence, feel fatigued, and even lead to depression. To have a better understanding of how food choices can affect your emotions, let’s explore some of the scientific explanations of how some foods can give you happiness. In contrast, others push you down the negative road.
Scientific connection between food and human Emotions
The scientific explanation of how food can affect human emotions can be explained in two ways. Firstly, how food nutrition can impact human psychology, and secondly, how hormones produced due to food intake can affect your emotions.
The first explanation is closely associated with nutrition psychiatry. As you intake any nutrition-packed food, your brain is provided with nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, etc. As a result, your brain functions with adequate proficiency and energy.
On the other hand, if your food choices include low-quality nutrition, your brain undergoes oxidative stress that releases free radicals within the body leading to cell damage. This damage may lead to further damage to inflammatory cells and, finally, contribute to brain tissue injury. Consequently, the body may exhibit behavioral changes and mood disorders like depression. This fact has been proved through medical studies that the intake of refined and processed food has a correlation with impaired brain functioning and mental disorders.
Similarly, our body and psychology are impacted by our food choices due to hormones like insulin and serotonin. Serotonin is popularly known as the happy hormone. It is a neurotransmitter secreted in the gastrointestinal tract that guides human emotions and appetite.
The levels of serotonin play a significant role in determining the absorption of nutrients, levels of toxins, and serves as a neural connection between human guts and brain. It has the power to affect emotions, feeling, behaviors, and moods based on the type of food intake.
Examples exhibiting the connection between food and psychology
In this section, you can explore some of the ways how food determines human emotions and feelings in good and bad ways.
Foods containing probiotics enhance the microbiome in the guts and release serotonin resulting in a better mood, lessen inflammation, and better cognitive thinking. This is the reason why Yogurt and kefir can serve the purpose of positively influencing moods and behavior.
Healthy fatty acids like Omega 3s provide a significant boost to memory, mood, and thinking. It is found in Seaweed, nori, spirulina, chia seeds, flax seeds, and chlorella.
Fresh and green vegetable along with fruits contains loads of antioxidants, macronutrients, and micronutrients to aid cognitive thinking and better mood.
Foods containing zinc, vitamin B, iron, and selenium work as brain boosters and eliminates symptoms of depression.
Foods containing saturated fats potentially harms brain proteins and leads to adverse psychological changes such as anxiety, depression, and unreasonable rage, and irritability. Therefore, try to swap food with saturated fats like butter with a healthier option like olive oil.
Some researches show that high sugar foods impacts human psychology and have a close relation to conditions like schizophrenia.Refined and processed foods lead to the release of dopamine resulting in unhappiness and negative thinking. Therefore, avoid the consumption of candies, desserts, and other high sugar foods to improve your mental health.
Processed foods containing preservatives, chemicals, and artificial flavors such as chips, packed juices, etc. may have some negative impact on your mental health as well.
Sweet foods, foods low in protein, and fatty foods fall in the grey zone as they have both positive and negative effects. These foods can alleviate stress by the instant release of serotonin in your guts. However, overeating them can lead to health problems like abdominal fats and obesity.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has been recognized as a mood booster. It also aids memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. It is packed with antioxidants that have positive impacts on human psychology. However, the sugar content of chocolates may lead to further problems.
The Bottom Line
Food choices depend on factors like likeness, dislikeness, social bindings, experience, cultural commitments, economic status, and a lot of other factors. It is different for every person. Similarly, the effect of food and eating patterns varies for individuals. Food plays a significant role in affecting human behavior, cognitive thinking, moods, and emotions. While nutritious food along with appropriate eating patterns can enhance your alertness, energy levels, and happiness, unhealthy foods like refined and processed foods can enhance your negative feelings, anxiety, anger, sleep disorder, and even hamper mental peace.
Therefore, it is essential to understand how your food choices can impact your psychology, especially in the long run. Monitoring the food intake, eating pattern, and nutrition using a food diary can be helpful in maintaining a psychological balance and give you a higher quality of life.