According to new studies it is believed that food and mood are inextricably linked so the reason for your happiness or unhappiness could lie in what you have eaten.
The connection between food and mood dates back to the time when it was first noticed that on consumption of carbohydrate rich foods there was an increase in the concentration of a substance known as serotonin. This acts as a neurotransmitter or transporter of information between the cells of the brain. Higher levels of serotonin have been associated with a relaxed mood while lower levels have been associated with tense, tired moods.
Food intake and mood
Have you ever realized that when you have a proper breakfast comprising fruits, veggies, cereals and milk, you feel relaxed throughout the day, whereas when you have just a glass of milk and an egg, you start feeling tired and tense? This only goes to prove that by eating a balanced diet you will remain happy, whereas if you have a hurried and unbalanced diet you will be prone to a bad mood and unhappy disposition throughout the day.
The three main constituents of food are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Apart from providing energy, they serve as a source of neurotransmitters. When the three are taken in right amounts, the neurotransmitters are produced in appropriate amounts but when the concentration of one rises over others, the level of neurotransmitters also vary and this affects the mood.
When you eat more carbohydrates, your mood is good because the intake of carbohydrates is associated with an increase in the levels of serotonin. This uplifts your mood but when the food is devoid of carbohydrates and comprises only fat and proteins, the serotonin levels fall and you feel depressed.
Think what happens when you get angry? You feel like eating something sweet and it's actually your brain that is signaling for this sweet piece of food. Slowly you find that you are getting relaxed. This relaxation is induced by the composition of sugar, however it remains only for a while and you will soon begin to feel depressed. This is because your blood sugar rises and the sugar is passed off in the urine. Apart from affecting mood, food affects other brain functions. Think of the day when you skip breakfast - you are unable to think the whole day. Similarly when you eat more than normal, your ability to concentrate goes down.
However, these mood changes can be prevented with an intake of a balanced diet that comprises carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the right proportion. Carbohydrates feed the brain, whereas proteins slowdown the rate at which carbohydrates are utilized thereby controlling the blood sugar. Fats regulate the overall blood composition as well as helps in promotion of hormones that help in enhancing your mood. Hence always remember to eat a well-balanced diet to keep you in high spirits all the time.