How Your Diet Impacts Your Mood (and Vice Versa)

Hey Angels and Alphas,

There are many positive and negative influences on your moods, but what you eat can have an enormous impact, whether you’re aware of it or not.

If you regularly consume foods that cause inflammation, both in your body and in your brain, then you may find yourself dealing with increased irritability and less patience when dealing with others.

Similarly, if you’re getting plenty of healthy fats and antioxidants in your diet, you may find yourself feeling more relaxed and calm.

In fact, there are even some nutrients that can help to reduce chronic pain and improve the quality of your sleep! To start, let’s examine two of the most important neurotransmitters related to your mood, and how your dietary choices impact them.

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also plays a role in motivation, memory, and focus.

When you eat foods that increase dopamine levels, you may feel more motivated, alert, and happy. Foods high in tyrosine (an amino acid) can raise dopamine levels by up to 30%. Foods high in tyrosine include pumpkin seeds, bananas, avocados, figs, whole grains, sunflower seeds and peanuts.

What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, social behavior, sleep, appetite, digestion, memory, and sexual desire. It’s sometimes called the happy chemical because it’s associated with happiness and well-being. Serotonin levels can be low in people who are depressed or anxious.

Conversely, serotonin levels can be high in people who have been treated for depression. What does this mean for diet? Research has shown that an increase of omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., from fish) and B vitamins (e.g., from whole grains) may help increase serotonin production.

What foods should you avoid? Foods high in tyramine, like cheese and yogurt, may trigger symptoms of depression by lowering serotonin levels.

How does your diet impact your dopamine and serotonin levels?

Dopamine and serotonin are two neurotransmitters that play a role in your mood.

Consuming foods that are high in protein can help increase dopamine levels, while consuming foods that are high in carbohydrates can help increase serotonin levels. Therefore, eating a balanced diet is important for maintaining a stable mood. However, it’s not just what you eat that impacts your mood – it’s also how much you eat.

Can a bad diet lead to a bad mood?

Yes, a bad diet can lead to a bad mood. When you don’t have the right nutrients, your body can’t function properly. This can lead to feeling tired, cranky, and even depressed. On the other hand, eating a healthy diet can improve your mood. The right foods can give you energy, help you focus, and make you feel happier. So if you’re feeling down, try changing up your diet first.

How to improve your diet for more energy and a better mood.

You are what you eat- or so the saying goes. And while there’s some truth to that, it’s not the whole story. What you eat can have a profound impact on how you feel. Here are some tips for eating for more energy and a better mood:

1. Eat breakfast. A nutritious breakfast provides your body with the fuel it needs to start the day.

2. Include protein at every meal. Protein helps support a healthy brain and provides energy to keep you going throughout the day.

3. Get your omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a healthy brain and mood. You can find them in fish, nuts, and seeds.

4. Eat complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs release sugar into the bloodstream slowly and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Refined carbs release sugar quickly which often leads to mood swings and cravings.