How Food Affects Mood: Research Revealed
By Cindy Collins, PhD, RD
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk for developing depression is directly linked to the average American diet. Current research has enhanced our understanding of the link between mood and food. The ideal goal would be to affect our moods in a positive way through the control of our dietary intake. Another very beneficial result of controlling our diets is to optimize our brain function with consumption of certain nutrients or combinations of nutrients.
Healthy food choices just might provide a piece to the puzzle when it comes to mood. A study published in the 2010 British Journal of Psychiatry, concluded that a dietary pattern consisting of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and whole grains was associated with lower odds for depression when compared to the typical American diet of processed or fried foods, refined grains and sugary products.
In 2004, a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, scientists determined that depression is strongly associated with C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of levels of inflammation in the body that is also linked to promotion of recurring disease. This suggests that we should consume foods which contain which are nutrient dense, specifically with foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties. These include nuts like almond and walnuts, fish oils and turmeric to name a few.
These findings and others suggest that foods may have the potential to aid in the enhancement of mood. And, don’t throw out the carbohydrates altogether. Complex carbohydrates may play a role here too. When the body receives a balance of fruits, vegetables and lean protein it has a better energy source to carry out important biological functions more effectively. When consuming carbohydrates, there is an increase in the blood glucose level, which opens biological pathways for amino acids (proteins) to reach the brain to send out the euphoric feeling sent out by the brain neurotransmitter, serotonin. Drew Ramsey, M.D., co-author of The Happiness Diet believes, “A well-nourished brain will usually take care of itself,” thus demonstrating the importance of good nutrition patterns.
For some examples of good food choices and more information on this topic please refer to: http://www.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=12988&Section=Nutrition&utm_source=DailyHealthBulletin&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Nutrition&utm_content=Body+ContinueReading&utm_campaign=DHB_120412