Diet and nutrition affect our appearance, health, and wellbeing. But few people are aware that food affects the psyche.
The life experience of many of us, as well as numerous scientific studies, confirm the effect of food on a good mood. With the help of food we can improve it or, on the contrary, because of it we can forget what it is. The absence of certain substances provokes frustration, anger, the use of others in excess will lead to the same effect. Proper nutrition helps to maintain emotional balance and, curiously, to increase intellectual potential.
Pride and anger
Even our ancestors came to the conclusion that a hungry person is an evil person. Perhaps everyone from personal experience knows that there is a great deal of truth in this. It turns out that a low level of sugar in the blood leads to the fact that we actually become more scandalous. Why does it happen? When the sugar level falls, the hypothalamus begins to produce, in particular, leptin and ghrelin. This leads to the fact that, in general, the entire hormonal balance is disturbed. It also leads to a blockage of the production of serotonin, the so-called hormone of happiness. A hormonal storm provokes a mood disorder, but this happens only when the sugar level drops below 55 mg/dl. However, this does not mean that any outbreak of aggression or bad mood can be attributed solely to hunger.
Meat and aggression
Vegetarians argue that it makes people more prone to aggressive behavior as an argument in favor of giving up meat. This argument is considered to be a rather strange and even contrived idea, perhaps a bit metaphorical. But in fact, she has a reason. Contained in meat (mainly in red) substances contribute to an increase in testosterone levels. This hormone is associated, in particular, with aggression and propensity to violence.
Junk food and aggression
British scientist Robert McCarrison studied the effects on the aggressive behavior of fast food, or, in other words, products containing artificial ingredients, large amounts of sugar, and hydrogenated fats. He came to the conclusion that those who fed on canned goods, jams, white flour bread showed considerable nervousness and a tendency to scratch and bite their guardians. A similar study was conducted in Australia. However, this time the experiments examined the effect of nutrition on human behavior. A two-week study, in which students in one of the schools were given healthy meals, demonstrated that they became much calmer and less prone to violence.
Food and intelligence
The diet also affects the level of concentration, the ability to memorize and compare the facts, the speed of learning, etc. The menu, consisting of fast food, sweets, soda, and other harmful dishes and snacks, significantly limits our mental abilities. What then increases them? First of all, fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, eggs, fish, nuts. The last two groups are a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, without which the brain is not able to function normally. For the work of the nervous system responsible for the B vitamins contained in the unrefined grain and eggs.
Food and Depression
Mood swings, the tendency to sadness, anxiety, and even depression can be caused by eating mistakes. Magnesium, unsaturated fatty acids from the omega-3 group, B vitamins are responsible for a good mood – they all regulate the activity of the nervous system. Thus, a diet that lacks the sources of the above components, increases the risk of, for example, depression.
To replenish the daily menu with magnesium, you need to eat bitter chocolate, wheat bran, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, oysters. Magnesium is also very important because its deficiency leads to increased stress and the inability to cope with it. It also affects sleep: a lack of a substance sometimes provokes insomnia. It, in turn, violates the hormones, helps to increase the level of cortisol, which further enhances stress and nervousness.
To enter into the diet sources of unsaturated acids from the omega-3 group, we must eat flaxseed, dishes with the addition of flaxseed oil, fatty sea fish. Eggs and whole grains are good sources of B vitamins. They should be eaten also because complex carbohydrates are digested faster than simple sugars, so they allow you to keep the blood sugar level at the right level longer. Thus, by not allowing it to fall, we do not subject ourselves to bouts of rage, scandal, sadness.
A well-balanced diet helps to maintain not only physical but also mental health. So let’s be attentive to what we eat!