Food and Mood: The Impact of What We Eat On Our Brain and Body
As I pour my morning cup of coffee I notice my mood begins to lift and my body begin to wake up with anticipation. If, however, I decide to indulge in a second cup of coffee an irrefutable shift begins to happen. I suddenly start to feel jittery and my heart begins to beat just a little bit faster. I notice that I’m slowly becoming irritated at everything and everyone around me.
My mood begins to change from pleasant and ready to take on the day to anxious and overwhelmed by the world around me.
It's fascinating to start to recognize the impact that food (and drink) can have on our mood, and how quickly it can shift. What we eat, as well as how we eat, can have an impact on both our body and our brain.
When we start to pay attention to the things that we consume and the impact it has, you might begin to notice a direct correlation to your fatigue, brain fog, or irritability. Even more disturbing; you might start to recognize that the food and drink you put into your body can have an impact on anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns.
Our neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in our body) are created in our gut. If our digestive system doesn’t like what we eat (due to allergies, sensitivities, toxicity, or unhealthy foods) it might begin to cause inflammation in our bodies. We have a bidirectional highway of information from our gut to our brain; meaning our brain might then become inflamed as well. This can lead to symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other concerning mood disorders.
We are continuously learning more about the connection between what we eat and how we feel. As we look at the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is full of sugar and overly processed foods, there is research to suggest that it’s not just our physical health that is suffering, it’s our mental health as well.
So before you pour yourself that second cup of coffee (I’m speaking for myself!), pause and consider the impact it might be having on your mood. You might find that shifting what you consume can have a major impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Are you interested in learning more about the connection between food and mood? Join Nicole Lovald for an online educational talk on Monday, June 19th from 4:00-5:30pm.