You Are What You Eat: How Food Affects Your Mood

Peg Walsh APRN Uncategorized

As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat!”

Have you ever thought that the foods you eat have more than just an effect on your waistline? New research shows just how important that connection between our gut and brain health really is! Gastrointestinal health can be the root cause for many other health issues including our mental health.

Here’s what you need to know…
• Gut inflammation (from trying to digest overly processed foods) can trigger mood swings and disorders. Gut inflammation may cause many diseases.
• The Enteric Nervous System (ENS), is made of two thin layers with more than 100 million nerve cells. It’s hidden in the walls of our digestive system and acts as “the brain in our gut”.
• The gut-brain connection is formally known as the microbiome and has a great effect on our moods.
• Stress directly impacts our guts through our flight or fight response. This butterflies in the stomach feeling is due to a fluctuation our cortisol levels.
• A dysfunctional microbiome could be at the root of your headaches, anxiety, inability to concentrate, or even negative outlook on life.

Luckily, you have the power to change your life through what you eat! Here are a few tips…

  1. Cut back on processed foods. Refined and processed foods can lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes and chronic migraines. Choosing a diet made of whole foods can dramatically impact the composition of your gut in a good way!
  2. Incorporate probiotics. Probiotics are a good bacteria that can help with proper nutrient absorption and better overall health. Examples of probiotic-rich foods are sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar and, of course, yogurt.
  3. Eat healthy fats. These are essential for brain development. As an added bonus, olive oils and avocados are great for heart health, too.

If you take the proper steps, you can make your gut work for you by improving your mood and health.