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Your diet can impact your mood. Here’s why eating clean can boost your mental health

Published on:25 March 2021, 18:18pm IST
When it comes to mental health, we often don’t give enough credit to the diet we eat. Which is why today we are the making case for eating clean, which can help you be happier.
Eshanka Wahi
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mental health
Good diet equals good mental health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

I strongly believe that what we eat impacts our mind. Eating clean creates happy hormones in our gut which are then transmitted to the brain through neurotransmitters—creating an overall happy feeling while keeping us mentally balanced.

The GI tract is home to billions of bacteria which influence the production of chemical substances which constantly carry messages from the gut to the brain. Serotonin, endorphins, dopamine are such examples.

Eating clean promote the production of happy hormones

People think that serotonin, which is a happy hormone is created in the brain. But the truth actually is that 90% of serotonin is actually created in the gut and then transmitted to the brain via the brain-gut highway.

mental health
Your brain and gut are connected. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Thus the easiest way to produce serotonin is by eating clean. Along with that, it is pivotal to get good sleep, have meaningful positive conversations, and keep our stress levels under control. Those with lower serotonin levels, usually suffer from lower self-esteem levels.

Foods high in omega-3 and protein such as nuts, seeds, eggs, poultry could boost your serotonin levels.

Endorphins, which is the calming hormone can be increased by eating berries, dark chocolates, chilies as well as by exercising and laughing with loved ones.

Eating clean and healthy food promotes the growth of “good bacteria” which transmits as a positive message to the brain, creating a positive overall mental balance.

An unhealthy diet can promote bad mood

On the other hand, a diet filled with junk food, can cause inflammation, digestion problems, hampering the neurotransmitter production, thus negatively impacting our overall mood.

mental health
Some foods can induce happiness. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Sugar, in particular feeds “bad bacteria” and causes excessive inflammation. Sugar, first creates a temporary “high” and spikes feeling good which seems like a dopamine rush, but it is very quickly followed by a complete “crash” which is terrible for the mood and overall wellbeing, physically and mentally both.

It is thus important to eat nourishing, healthy whole foods, which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Remember, the gut is literally our second brain and has a clear voice

We often say “listen to your gut” which signifies the importance of the stomach in relation to intuition from way back in the day.

The minute we are feeling anxious, we refer to that as “getting butterflies in the stomach”. This is again a reference to how our gut and brain axis are intimately connected.

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People who mindlessly binge, often are those who have a lower control of the mind. If you can control what you eat, you can control anything because with that, one achieves complete balance over the mind, body and soul.

I often say, Eating clean is the highest form of self-respect and it’s important to make your mental and physical health a priority.

Eshanka Wahi Eshanka Wahi

Eshanka Wahi, is a Dubai & Delhi based Wellness Advocate. She strongly believes that eating healthy is the strongest form of self-respect.