It has always been said that good nutrition means overall good health. But what is the actual relation between nutrition and health? Celebrity Dietitian and Nutritionist Shweta Gupta, founder of New Beginnings talks about the link between nutrition and health.
Our food choices and eating patterns not only determine our physical health but also mental and emotional well-being. The connection between diet and emotions arises from the close relationship between the brain and gastrointestinal tract, often known as “the second brain.” The gastrointestinal tract consists of billions of bacteria that largely influence the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, chemical substances that carry messages from gut to brain. Consuming processed food items and sugary products might cause a temporary spike in “feel good” hormones but it tends to feed “bad” bacteria in the gut, which can lead to inflammation and bad mood.
Sticking to a healthy diet including a lot of fruits and vegetables can result in a happier outlook, enhanced focus, and fewer mood swings. Being mindful of what you are putting on the plate can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Here is a list of food items that can help to boost mood and maintain emotional well-being are as follows.
Make sure to consume unprocessed or minimally processed food items that do not contain added sugar, starch, flavoring, and other preservatives. Some examples of whole foods include whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, eggs, etc. Eating whole foods can keep you in good spirits and prevent fatigue, sluggishness, and mood disorders.
Fibre-rich food items help to reduce blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood, which helps to reduce the effects of stress.
Fibre also keeps one fuller for long hours, which helps one to avoid sugar rushes and crashes.
Rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate has many mood-boosting compounds that trigger a positive psychological response and improves mood. High in health-promoting flavonoids, dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain and improves overall brain functioning.
Nuts and Seeds
Enriched with proteins, healthy fats, and fibre, nuts, and seeds not only make a healthy alternative for snacks but also produce mood-boosting serotonin and support a healthy brain. Nuts and seeds are high in tryptophan, zinc, and selenium that help to lower the risk of depression.
Good sources of proteins such as chicken, meat, fish, eggs, soya beans etc allow the body to lend a sufficient amount of energy and enhance concentration.
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