During my freshman year of college my diet consisted of microwavable dinners, pizza rolls, and loads of sugar. I had no real problems at the time and was wondering why my mood would change to one that was more of a depressive state. My friend had told me that what you put into your body isn’t always great even if it satisfies your hunger. He got me to start eating more protein in the form of sandwiches with sides of fruit or vegetables. According to M.D., Susan Biali, who specializes in Dietetics, it is important to get your share of protein for each meal you eat. She states that “the food last longer in your stomach and bloodstream, prevents blood sugar crashes, and also keeps you “up” and alert for two to three hours afterwards.” In this same article she makes note that when stuffing foods containing a lot of carbs down your throat it triggers a response of an amino acid known as tryptophan to be released into the brain to help in the production of serotonin. When the carbs being digested has a low amount of glucose you’ll feel great then shortly after be left with a blow to your mood, quite a negative one. By switching to a meal that has whole grain and plenty of carbs, you’ll notice your mood will improve to a positive one.
This research is supported by two other dietitians, Jennifer K. Nelson and Katherine Zeratsky, who emphasize how “Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, tryptophan, folate and other B vitamins, low glycemic foods, and chocolate” have all been look at to see if they have a connection to the state of someone’s mood. These studies indicate that there is a correlation, however there is no 100% certainty, which leaves room to perhaps a third variable that is leading to the impact and causing the change in mood. What they do agree on is the recommendation to insert whole grains, fruits, and vegetables into your diet. They express “when you eat fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains throughout the day you keep your body fueled and your blood sugar level on an even keel.”
Back in November of 2013, Cynthia Ramnarace, wrote a piece for CNN’s website , in which she draws attention to how intake of chocolate products and cocoa is very useful in boosting the amount of serotonin being produced by the brain. She refers to a study done by the Journal of Psychopharmacology in which people who once a day drank a polyphenol-rich chocolate drink would noticed improvement in their mood in the form of feeling much more relaxed as opposed to those who didn’t. The trial was conducted with the aid of 72 people, both men and women, between the ages of 40-65 years for a period of 30 days. The problem with this study however is that it’s only done with a specific age group of people and may not prove to be true when it comes to younger or older individuals.
One thing that is for sure is that there must be an increase in protein fruit, and vegetable consumption and less of sugar and gluten running through your system. Fruits like bananas are packed with dopamine which triggers the pleasure system of the brain, which already makes the chemical. Meats such as lamb can provide plenty of nutrients to keep up a healthy and happy mood. Lamb also has the added benefit of decreasing the chances of having cardiovascular disease. These are just a small sample size of foods that can get the job done.