For many Americans, food is emotion. Food can be, as a reward or a consolation, as nostalgia or pleasure, writes USA TODAY.
For many years, scientists have researched what we eat, and what value it has for our emotions, and finally found a relationship between what we put in our mouth and what happens in our head.
Nutritionist Wesley Delbridge says that our digestive system is directly related to the brain: “We need to understand that our stomach speaks to our brain, and this can have a profound effect on our mood and emotions that we experience. If your stomach is full and satisfied, then you will feel life satisfaction and even happiness. ”
In 2008, UCLA scientists studied 160 in various studies on how food affects the brain and determined that a balanced diet along with exercise can affect mental disorders.
“We are literally what we eat,” notes Dr. Artie Gupta, Founder and Clinical Director. Therapynest, a center in California that specializes in anxiety and family therapy.
Dr. Gupta, when dealing with patients who suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, conducts a functional nutritional diagnosis to determine which product can help make the patient happier. It can be a cup of coffee, a glass of mineral water or fast food.
“Given that our brains and bodies only function because we consume food, metabolize and redistribute within ourselves, it is very clear that what we eat has to affect biochemistry, which is the basis of mental health,” explains Artie Gupta.
If food plays such an important role in our mood, then what should we eat to feel happier?
Nutritionist Delbridge claims that there are flavonoids in quinoa that work as antidepressants. In addition, quinoa is an excellent substitute for rice and pasta.
Salmon is a source of 3-omega fatty acids, which play an important role in the production of cells in our body, making the skin smooth and the hair shiny. Even if you are not a salmon fanatic, it is worth adding fish to your diet at least once a month. If you don't like fresh salmon, try canned salmon.
Mushrooms contain large amounts of vitamin D, which is also responsible for a good mood and has antidepressant properties.
“We are used to getting vitamin D mainly from the sun, and we forget that this beneficial vitamin is also found in foods such as mushrooms, milk, beef, chicken liver and fatty fish. The main property of vitamin D is the conversion and regulation of tryptophan into serotonin, which is responsible for the psycho-emotional state of a person. Depression can be caused by a lack of serotonin as well as an excess of it, ”says Marjorie Nolan Koch, registered nutritionist and founder of the Philadelphia MNC Nutrition.
Many know about the beneficial properties of dark chocolate, its doctors have long recommended as a means to alleviate emotional stress. Dark chocolate increases the amount of endorphins, and nutritionist Sonia Angelon advises choosing chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa.
Probiotic products - kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut
Probiotics are bacteria that live in our intestines that aid in digestion, boost immunity, and cleanse the intestines.
They are a key factor affecting the health of the intestines and have a calming effect on the body, and especially help with aggression, says Delbridge.
Fermented dairy products contain probiotics such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and yogurt.
Foods containing vitamin B6 - poultry, beef, herbs
Another vitamin that is responsible for the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin. It is also a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in mood, learning, appetite and impulse control. B6 can be found in poultry, beef, greens, spinach and seafood.
In the grapes, according to Angelon, contains a lot of resveratol, which works as an antioxidant and uplifting.
Deficiency of folic acid leads to a decrease in serotonin levels.
Cohn said that folic acid is also good for the development of the fetal brain. Look for leafy greens such as spinach, bok choy, and turnip greens.
Vitamin C is a great way to boost your immune system with antioxidants.
Your immune system and brain are connected. People who are not very strong physically often cite physical weakness as a source of depression. In addition, vitamin C binds free radicals, allowing the body to more easily remove them, Cohn said.
Vitamin C is found in broccoli, oranges, cabbage, strawberries, mango and kiwi.
Statistics show that the majority of the population is deficient in magnesium in the body, and it is very important for various metabolic functions and is also responsible for the balance of serotonin. Magnesium is in dark greens, nuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, yogurts, kefir.
Despite the advantages of certain products in shaping a person's mood, medical experts remind that no food in and of itself can be an elixir for a stable mood and mind. In addition to a healthy diet, there are several other factors that are very important for a person: sleep, exercise and diet.
Dr. Gupta warns that proper nutrition cannot be a substitute for drug treatment.