The short answer is yes, food does definitely influence your mood. But let’s take a few minutes to dive into the hows and hopefully give you a few take home points for how you can put yourself in a better mood by changing some of the stuff that you are eating.
Sugar = depression?
There have been connections made between eating a lot of sugary and self reporting feeling depressed from participants across six different countries. Whilst the underlying mechanisms aren’t clear we’ve all experienced a lull in our energy levels after eating a lot of sugar, and it could be to do with constantly having insulin coursing through your veins trying to clear up the sugar that’s in there.
Omega-3 = good moods?
This is another correlation rather than causation, but if all it takes to put you in a better mood is adding some nuts, seeds, fish and seafood to your weekly nutrition plan, it seems like a no brainer!
Omega-6 = bad moods?
Omega 6 fatty acids are found in abundance in vegetable oils, hydrogenated fats and trans fats, and make it hard for your body to process omega-3 fats (like we talked about above). Omega-6s have also been linked to increased levels of inflammation in the body which can affect all sorts of things from gut health to brain health. Chronic brain inflammation has been linked to many neurodegenerative diseases, so steer clear of omega-6s!
Lean proteins = relaxation and sleep?
Chicken, turkey and fish have high levels of tryptophan which is one of those ‘feel good’ chemicals that help us feel relaxed and happy (and improve our sleep quality).
So, in short we can say that what you choose to eat does influence your mood, and that can be in a positive or negative way. Based on these things to help you feel better, our recommendations would be to limit the amount of sugar that you have, eat more fish, leave the vegetable oil alone and eat more turkey!