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How Food Affects Our Mood And The Mind
The kind of food we eat not only affects our physical body but plays a huge role in the functioning of our minds, and our mood
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Food plays a huge role in our day to day physical and mental health. There are foods that uplift your mood while there are some which activate the happy hormones such as Dopamine, SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and endorphins.
There are certain fruits such as bananas and apples which give you instant energy. That is why it is important to have our fruits at the right time of the day. In addition to that, even these can be consumed for lending instant high energy levels in the body – Watermelon, Orange, Papaya, Mango and Avocado etc.
According to a scientific survey – A team had the participants take tests to measure cognition, overall intelligence, memory, and executive function—and they were able to correlate these scores with brain connectivity and levels of the nutritional biomarkers. Omega-3, omega-6, lycopene, carotenoids, and vitamins B and D all correlated to aspects of cognition, and most were also connected to brain function.
For instance, omega-3s were linked to general intelligence and attentional focus. Omega-6 fatty acids and lycopene were linked to executive function and to the dorsal attention network. The connection between cognition and brain activity can at least partially be explained by the levels of biomarkers in the blood.
The worst intakes for the mind are sugary drinks, refined carbs. Refined carbohydrates include sugars and highly processed grains, such as white flour. Foods High in trans fats. Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that can have a detrimental effect on brain health, highly processed foods, Aspartame, alcohol, and fish high in Mercury.
Healthy brain food includes:
Protein — Meat, fish, eggs, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds, dried beans and lentils, dairy products and soy products. Protein helps your brain send messages to the rest of your body, and helps create brain chemicals that improve your mood.
Antioxidants — fruits and veggies, including berries, and pomegranate juice. Antioxidants can help delay or even prevent certain effects of ageing on the brain.
Omega-3 — oily fish, flax seeds and flax oil, and eggs, chicken and beef. Omega-3s have been found to help your brain work harder and improve your mental health.
Dietary cholesterol — dairy and egg yolks. Your brain relies on cholesterol to create the cells that send messages to the rest of the body.
Monounsaturated fats — avocados, nuts, olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Food that contains monounsaturated fats can improve your memory and help your brain work harder, better, faster, stronger.
Caffeine (moderate amounts) — tea, coffee and dark chocolate. In small doses, caffeine can help you feel refreshed and more focused.
Water. Your brain is 73% water, and water is vital to keeping your body (and brain) in tip-top shape.
According to a recent study, the best way to feed your brain is to eat a wide range of foods from all food groups.
Porridge topped with fruit and walnuts
Biscuits or a muffin
Wholegrain crackers with cheese and tomato
Homemade wholewheat pizza
Burger and fries
Steak and salad
Chocolate or lollies
Fresh or dried fruit
Yoghurt and berries
Handful of nuts
Green or herbal tea
While many of the brain foods talked about have immediate results (like caffeine), the best results are the ones that show up over time, such as the slowing down of age-related cognitive decline, and the decreased likelihood of degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.
On a conclusive note, we can say that the food we eat impacts not only our physical health but mental health in a huge way as well. Mood swings, depression etc. have temporary cures by eating all kinds of unhealthy food. Hence, the brain cells and chemicals released in the brain are affected. This leads to an unhealthy lifestyle and eventually mental and physical debility.