How Does Your Diet Influence Your Mood?

Did you know that an alteration in your intestinal microbiota could significantly increase the risk of you suffering from depression? Indeed, your diet and your mental health are closely related.
How Does Your Diet Influence Your Mood?

Last update: 26 September, 2021

Diet has a significant influence on your mood. For example, eating incorrectly increases the risk of developing depressive disorders that can cause alterations in your emotional functioning. For this reason, it’s essential to take care of your diet.

There are many factors that can influence the development of clinical disorders. Toxic social relationships or sedentary lifestyles are two clear risk factors. In the same way, a bad night’s rest can influence the way you perceive things.

Alterations in the microbiota influence mood

As stated in a study published in the Chinese Medical Journal, there’s a two-way communication relationship evidenced between the intestine and the brain. Consequently, alterations in your digestive function or health can manifest themselves in your cognitive system or on your mood.

diet in mood

Experts consider that intestinal dysbiosis could be behind many processes of depression or anxiety. However, research suggests that the administration of probiotics can reduce the risk of developing emotional disorders since they protect health in the medium and long term.

To achieve healthy and functional microbiota, it’s essential to frequently include fermented foods in your diet. In addition, you should ensure you consume an adequate amount of fiber, since this substance serves as an energy substrate for the bacteria that colonize your digestive tract.

Diet and melatonin production

Through your diet, you can also influence the endogenous synthesis of melatonin. This is a hormone that’s closely related to good mental health. In fact, among other things, it regulates your cycles of sleep and wakefulness. Therefore, ensuring that it’s synthesized correctly is the key to getting a good night’s rest, thus ensuring emotional stability.

To achieve a good production of melatonin it’s essential to include foods high in tryptophan in your diet. This amino acid intervenes in the physiology of tryptophan and also serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of happiness.

Proteins of high biological value have a significant concentration of tryptophan. Also certain foods of plant origin, such as nuts. Of course, it’s preferable to consume them raw or toasted, avoiding the fried and salty ones.

Another way to improve your mood could be by taking melatonin supplements. These should improve your quality of sleep. In the medium-term, this establishes stability at an emotional level and hence there’s a lower risk of developing anxiety or depression.

Some foods in the diet can negatively influence your mood

In addition to foods that improve mood, we find others that have the opposite effect. For example, alcohol should be avoided. This poison affects cognitive function and generates alterations in the hormonal and inflammatory balance, thus affecting brain health in the medium term.

In addition, you should reduce the presence of trans fats and simple sugars in your diet. Ultra-processed foods contain both of these elements in large quantities. They have an inflammatory effect. This affects the condition of the microbiota, thus increasing the probability of developing some clinical disorders associated with mood.

diet in mood

Diet influences your mood

As you’ve seen, correctly designing your diet can positively influence your mood, thus reducing the incidence of any emotional disturbances. For this reason, you should consume fresh food wherever possible, and reduce your intake of industrial ultra-processed products and alcoholic beverages.

To complement these effects, you should maintain other healthy habits. Indeed, regular physical exercise is extremely important. It improves your sense of well-being and relaxation thanks to the synthesis of endorphins. These are a series of neurotransmitters linked to happiness.

Likewise, it’s key to ensure you always get a good night’s sleep. In fact, you should aim to sleep for seven to eight hours every night with minimum interruptions. To promote sleep, you might want to introduce some supplements, such as melatonin or magnesium. These usually generate good results, achieving an effective repair of the body during the night.

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  • Wang, H. X., & Wang, Y. P. (2016). Gut Microbiota-brain Axis. Chinese medical journal129(19), 2373–2380. https://doi.org/10.4103/0366-6999.190667
  • Ansari, F., Pourjafar, H., Tabrizi, A., & Homayouni, A. (2020). The Effects of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Mental Disorders: A Review on Depression, Anxiety, Alzheimer, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology21(7), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.2174/1389201021666200107113812