Food and Mood

You feel what you eat. Here’s why.

It’s ironic how many of us will turn to ice cream, cakes, bread, pasta and potato chips when when we’re feeling stressed. But instead of eating yourself happy, you are probably feeding your stress. After eating simple carbs, there is a sudden spike in the body’s sugar levels that results in a burst of energy. Then when that sugar spike drops, your energy levels will slump. That means less energy to focus on the source of stress at hand. Chances are, the problem will worsen unless they are addressed and resolved… and the vicious cycle of comfort eating continues.

Studies consistently show that there is a link between the Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of depression. A Mediterranean diet is widely regarded as a model of healthy eating. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains and lean protein such as chicken and fish, and low in red meat and unhealthy fats.

Scientific evidence supports the link between the Mediterranean diet and positive mental health outcomes. A healthy diet lowers the risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, which in turn will logically lower the risk of depression related to deteriorating health and loss of independence.

One study on the association between mood and diet quality showed that subjects who consumed more water, fibre, ascorbic acid, tryptophan (an essential amino acid) and other key minerals such as magnesium and selenium experienced better moods overall. From this, we can deduce that eating more whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, tofu, fish, chicken, avocado, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds will improve our mood. The same study suggested that the wider the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed, the greater the positive impact on your mood.

Dare we say – eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables and your mood will be sunnier!


This article is taken from our My Alvernia Magazine Issue #36. Click here to read the issue on our website or on Magzter.