Changing your mood could be all about the food you eat.
Your belly and your brain may have more in common than you think—they are both at risk of getting grumpy when they aren’t fed properly.
A study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a lot of foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish may be associated with a reduced risk of depression. If this menu sounds familiar, it’s because all of the same foods are prominently featured in the Mediterranean diet.
While the study states that more research needs to be done, the connection isn’t as puzzling as it may seem.
From Fuel to Feelings
Your digestive system is designed for more than just digestion. The gastrointestinal tract produces 95 percent of your serotonin—a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite and moods.
According to Harvard Medical School, the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin is highly influenced by the types of food you eat. For example, a diet high in refined sugars may promote inflammation and disrupt the production of serotonin. Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that a healthy diet may do the opposite.
So, next time you are tempted to reach for cookies, try some vegetables instead. Your mood—and your brood—may thank you for it.
For recipe ideas, download a copy of the Keep the Beat™ Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners cookbook at healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov/pdfs/Dinners_Cookbook_508-compliant.pdf. Look for good mood seafood recipes on pages 39–53.