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Can Your Diet Affect Your Mood?

Can Your Diet Affect Your Mood?
1 Oct 12

Can Your Diet Affect Your Mood?

You’ve likely heard the saying you are what you eat. You’ve probably heard someone say the donut they ate this morning is going to go straight to their waistline or hips. What you’ve probably never heard is that your food can affect your mood. Some foods commonly found in diets may just put you in a bad mood or help to boost your mood.

If you can’t start your day without a cup of coffee, you may want to think twice. The medical and scientific community have long known the effects caffeine can have on your mood. Caffeine helps your body to produce serotonin — a chemical that is commonly associated with being happy or in a good mood. Coffee can have a positive and negative effect on your mood. Studies show that individuals who have just one cup of coffee per day are much less likely to suffer from depression. On the other hand, too much coffee can lead to insomnia and anxiety. Insomnia and anxiety are bound to put most individuals in a bad mood.

If you’ve ever eaten turkey, you may have heard of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is commonly associated with eating too much turkey. Tryptophan is supposed to make you sleepy, which many may use as an excuse not to hang the Christmas lights or to hang out on the couch all day and watch football the day after Thanksgiving. Some in the nutrition field believe that sleepiness is likely to occur after any large meal – regardless of what you are eating, not just after your turkey dinner. Others in the nutrition industry indicate that tryptophan can cause neurotransmitters to receive blood sugars, which can affect your mood and leave you feeling tired. Too much tryptophan in your diet can also slow production of serotonin, which can have an effect on your mood.

Omega-3 fatty acids have a large number of benefits for your health.  Found in fish oil and sold in supplement form, omega-3 fatty acids can help improve brain function and improve your overall health including your immune system. Researchers have indicated that these Omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive effect on your mood as well as your behavior. Studies conducted with bipolar participants found that individuals with bipolar disorder were better able to control their mood swings when taking fish oil supplements on a daily basis.

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