The serotonin receptors in our bodies directly affect different neurological and biological processes that involve cognition, learning, memory, anxiety, mood, among other processes. However, did you know that 90% of the serotonin receptors in your body are located in the gastrointestinal tract? So there is a definite connection between the quality of the foods we eat and our mood. Ultra-processed foods like those served at fast-food restaurants or packaged and canned foods loaded with sugars and preservatives can affect mood negatively while consuming healthier food options can affect our mood positively.
If you aren’t feeling right mood-wise, eating better may help you feel better. Of course, diet is only one aspect that could be affecting your mood, and if you are for example feeling anxious or depressed, diet alone shouldn’t be relied on solely to combat these moods, especially if they are pervasive or ongoing. While eating better foods may help, you should consult your physician or a mental health care provider. A combination of treatment, a good diet, and exercise can all work to help get you feeling better.
Below are 6 Dietary Suggestions That Can Help Contribute To A Better Mood
- Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit instead of consuming processed fruit and vegetable juices.
- Avoid processed and packaged foods that contain additives and preservatives.
- Make sure that you are eating enough fiber that can come from whole grains and foods like beans, chickpeas, lentils, oats, and peanuts, for example.
- In place of taking probiotic pills, try to eat probiotic-rich foods like plain yogurt without added sugar. Adding thawed fruits from the freezer that don’t contain added sugars is a great way to healthily add to this snack.
- Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut can help you maintain good gut health.
- Cut down on red meat consumption and eat a balance of different proteins like lean chicken and fish.