How Food Affects Your Mood

10:53 PM

How Food Affects Your Mood

Did you know? What you eat can influence or change your mood. And it is not just psychological effect. Studies were conducted and there is an explanation on how food affects your mood. You may be unaware but reaching for a bar of chocolate or a pint of ice cream when you are feeling down can give you a temporary boost of energy thanks to sugar rush, but can also leave you down again because of sugar crashing low.

How Food Affects Your Mood

So how does food affect a person’s mood? How can you turn your frown around by eating? What do you eat when you want to calm down? Why are there foods that work for us as comfort food but don’t do the same for others?

Psychological effect

What is your comfort food? Maybe it is just a simple homemade spaghetti. Or your grandmother’s winning apple pie recipe. Or the bagel from your favorite bakery.

There may not be anything special about your comfort food but somehow, when you are facing some major life changes and turmoil rocks your world, you cook (or buy) this food and one single bite gives you overwhelming feeling of calmness and you just know, everything will be alright.


Because you associate these foods into that “homey” feeling. Maybe because when you were young, your mom would welcome you home with a warm plate of spaghetti after a tough day in school. Or your favourite grandma would visit during the holiday and bake apple pie and you associate the taste with that high spirits around the holiday.

comfort food

Some food can bring you back to that time when everything is good, familiar and happy. That’s why they are an effective mood booster for you even when they are not for others.

The opposite can also happen. I remember from one personal experience the last food I ate before my ulcer attack. I was burping so often that I can taste my dinner (fried fish!) again and again while I was doubled over with pain.

I swore I would never eat that fish again. Every time I remember it, I feel horrible. That is one experience I would never want to happen again. The pain in my stomach was so intense I thought I was going to die. No exaggeration!

Chemical compound

People who are demotivated and feeling sluggish are advised to eat fruits and vegetables. This is because fruits and vegetables are rich in amino acid tryptophan that is responsible for maintaining the serotonin level in our brains.

What is serotonin? It is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, social behaviour and sexual desire, feeling of happiness and well-being.

Researchers believe there is a link between low serotonin-level and depression.

Eat Healthy and Be Happy

When you eat healthy, your body also is able to digest your food normally. When you have upset stomach because you ate too much or you ate food that not good for your body, it is hard to stay focused and be happy.

Of course fruits and vegetables are also high in nutritional value for the vitamins and minerals they contain. When you're healthy, you feel good about yourself and you look good too, you are able to do more and that gives you a happier disposition. You become confident in your body.

Eat Healthy and Be Happy

A sickly person on the other hand is always lethargic, downhearted and irritable. You also worry more about your hospital bills, medication and your life in general when you have a discomfort or ailment.

Vitamin B12 and folate found in green leafy vegetables and broccoli, as well as salmon, citrus fruits and lentils can help ease depression.

Vitamin D on the other hand helps relieve mood disorder. It’s found in milk and egg yolks.

Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish like mackerel and salmon can also affect your mood because it helps correct the imbalance of serotonin level in the brain. In fact there was a study conducted showing those with low level of omega 3 in the body have greater suicide risk.

Here’s another interesting fact: eating meat and poultry is associated to increase in depression. This is because eating animal produce can trigger Arachidonic acid resulting in inflammation. When this inflammation reaches the brain it can cause feeling of anxiety, hopelessness and depression.

Sweets, Happiness and Addiction

Most people who “crave” for food often crave for sweets. Eating chocolates for example stimulates and increases the production of endorphin that creates the feelings of pleasure.

Chocolates or more accurately cocoa contains theobromine and phenylethylamine that affects the serotonin level---which as mentioned earlier regulates the mood and sense of well-being.

That's why it is popularly known that chocolates produce happy hormones.

Sweets, Happiness and Addiction

Sweets like doughnut and cake is addicting because they can trigger the pleasure center in the brain. The same action addicting drugs do.

Eating foods that are rich in fiber can slow down absorption of sugar in the blood stream and increase serotonin at the same time. Fiber is mostly found in oats, peas, and beans.

Change your food, change your mood.

Unhealthy diet makes your body and mind sick. It is true what they say: you are what you eat.

When you eat highly nutritious food, you become healthy and since your body is acting normally and on its optimal state, your well-being is improved and you become happy.

Eating junk, addictive and foods that are low in nutritional value on the other hand makes your body function poorly and leave you feeling down.

If you want to live better, improve and change your mood. Among many things like exercise, change in mindset and lifestyle change, contribute to this change---that includes improving and changing your diet.

Be mindful about choosing what you put in your mouth because how food affects your mood will also greatly affect your life.

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  1. Food definitely affects my mood! I'm such a big food lover and nothing can come handy to cheer you up than eating your favorite food. I loved this post, Lux.