The more I learn about how food affects our bodies, the more I focus on making the right choices when it comes to ingredient selection. Im always open to learning and growing as a person and as a brand so I love finding out more and more about how what we eat becomes who we are. This week let's focus on our mood!
Our brains are always working… and maybe now more than ever. The overload of stress, fear, anxiety, pressure and confusion have unfortunately become common brain processing as we navigate this complicated year.
Since there’s little we can control these days, why not focus on what we can control: what we decide to fuel our brains with: food. Your thoughts, your senses, your breathing, every movement… are all controlled by your brain 24/7. The fuel that keeps this operation running has a huge impact on HOW it runs and that includes your mood.
A brain functions best when it receives the best quality fuel. Food high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress. The free radical waste produced from bad food literally damages cells. Processed and refined foods can worsen your body’s regulation of insulin and leads to inflammation. Diets high in refined sugars have been directly linked to impaired brain function and even depression.
How can food that you ingest be so directly linked to the brain? Isn’t this a digestive issue? Well let’s take serotonin for instance. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite, mediates your mood and inhibits pain. Guess where serotonin is produced? That’s right.. Your gut! 95% of serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract which is lined with 100 million nerve cells, or neurons. So it makes sense that your digestive system doesn't just help you digest food, but guide your emotions and brain function as well which affects your overall mood.
Little ways you can start making changes: pay attention to what you eat during a day and then see how you feel. Not just that day but the next day as well. Then commit to eating “clean” for 2-3 weeks (which means cutting out all processed foods and sugars). See how you feel after a few weeks. Then add some processed foods back in one at a time and notice what happens to your body and mind. Once you go clean, you may be surprised how terrible you feel when you introduce processed foods back into your diet. Simply paying attention, noticing, and focusing on your energy levels and mood while you experiment with your diet will blow you away. And let’s face it, if we can have even a little control over our state of mind these days, it’s worth a try!