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Sia was feeling hungry. Lazy to cook, she raided her refrigerator for any signs of food. Finally, she found some processed muffins and munched her hunger on that.
This is a case for most of us. In a time, where everything is automatic it is no surprise for us to be lazy. Often, our hunger is fed by some processed food, ignoring the fact it’s not good.
We all know the disadvantages of eating junk food for we have written numerous articles about it when we were in school. But do you know the relationship of your mood to your food?
Interestingly, the word "mood" rhymes with "food," giving us our first hint. But before, we talk about it; we need to first know how the brain forms your mood.
Brain is network of complex neurons, transmitters and chemicals that work together to perform various tasks ranging from processing data to moving your limbs. Most common neurotransmitters which play a dominant role in controlling your mood are dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Remember the pleasure of getting your salary. That pleasure is dopamine. It is what that makes you want to do the rewarding thing again.
Serotonin is basically what makes you happy. It also helps in memory and learning. It regulates your sleep pattern and appetite; it impedes your pain too. Its imbalance can increase your anger, anxiety, panic and chances of depression.
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that controls your attention spans, mood, sleep pattern, dreams and your learning ability. Once it is released into your blood, the blood vessels contract thus, increasing your heart rate. It is also responsible for several mood disorders.
Amongst these common neurotransmitters, it is serotonin that connects your food to your mood.
95% of serotonin produced in your body actually comes from your gastrointestinal track. The gastrointestinal track is linked to millions of neurons. It is the “good” bacteria present there that produces serotonin. There are numerous benefits from these bacteria. They immune you to toxins, protect your intestine, limit inflammation, improve your intestine’s ability to absorb more nutrients and activate a direct path to brain from your stomach!
While Dr. Robin Karanek, Professor in Psychology at Tufts University, who studies at the Geraland J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy about the interaction of nutrition and behavior believes, “The role of diet in mental health may be particularly important for populations who are vulnerable to nutritional shortfalls, such as infants and the elderly, and those consuming a less-than-optimal diet.”
An urban lifestyle has resulted in falling most of us in this category; creating a need for us to improve mental health by changing our food pattern. It may sound a tedious and impossible task but with a little will it can happen. Few things that can come handy in improving your mood are given below.
A new health craze introduced in 90s is probably the reason why many people are happy fats deficient. Omega 3 fatty acids present in fish liver oil is essential for helping your brain and moods function properly. According to researchers, these fatty acids are responsible for your brain adaptability and reduces your swelling/inflammation that can damage the brain cells. It also improves your neurotransmitters, thereby improving brain cells’ communication with each other.
The reason why it’s so effective is because 70 percent of your brain is made up of fats therefore it’s needed for the brains normal development, especially for infants.
A study says that it can ease depression, mood disorder and lowers the chances of committing suicide.
Protein Rich Breakfast—Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet most of us treat it with least concern thanks to our hectic schedule. It is quite ironic that skipping it or eating on the go does nothing but havocs your blood sugar, thus making you prone to stress. The protein in your breakfast will stabilize your blood sugar, creating amino acids for your neurotransmitters.
5 Basic Nutrients Diet—When we were kids, we were taught that diets that contain food rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats and roughage and water are best for us. We may have tried it then; it is time to restart it again.
Protein Rich Diet—Proteins help you keep your blood sugar stable and provides you amino acids that helps in making neurotransmitters. Practice eating a protein rich diet at regular intervals and see the magic yourself.
Avoid Junk Food—This is no brainer, yet most of us are lured to it by its delicious smell. Don’t let them fool you. These food items are composed of high sugar content, simple carbohydrates, and Trans fats. Even taking excess calories in liquid form disrupts your regular eating patterns.
These are few ways that could help you connect your food habits to your mood. Don’t be a slave of your mood anymore.