Updated: Dec 7, 2022
How food influences our minds?
Let's think if you have to work with outdated 'windows' on your personal computer. Will you?
In the same way, you would not like to use an unfit mind for your body to work. And it is obvious that the food we eat has both direct (in terms of nutrients level) and indirect
(mental health) effects on our minds. What we eat is what we become and what we think, which is mainly because food is what builds our bodies and affects our minds. Thus, it is important to understand how food influences our minds, and how can we make the best choices to keep it healthy.
Here are a few ways in which food influences our minds
Get refreshed through fluids and fruits
When we eat watery fruits or juice, we feel calmer and more peaceful. Fruits also decrease the level of oxidative stress and help in better cognitive performance. That’s why salad is often included in meals so that the effect of other food is neutralized.
Spicy food can increase anger
It is often seen that spicy food can make us feel angrier and affects our mood as our body temperature increases. It can lead to weak decision-making and dizziness once the effect is over. The increment in the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract also decreases the production of hormones, which in fact has long-term adverse effects.
Fast food has its highs and lows
Fast food makes us feel better as it is addictive and might make us feel that we saved time because we didn't have to prepare a meal. However, over-eating of fast food can affect the mind because we observe an increase in anxiety levels after eating.
Associating food with emotions
The idea of establishing a link between food and emotions emerges from the gastrointestinal tract, known as the 'second brain' many times. As our mind acts as a source of many hormones, the GI tract does the same. As per a study published by American Society for Clinical Investigation, Dopamine and serotonin are common among the hormones secreted by the GI tract. So, the food we eat influences our GI tract, in turn, hormonal secretion and emotional stability.
Lack of food affects the mind
When we don't eat often, it can make us do things in a hurry to just get them over with and also might affect our decisions, because of high inflammation in the GI tract without food.
Too much food affects the mind
Too much food can affect the mind as we are knowingly affecting hormonal production by eating too much. Also, worrying about health and weight is common after overeating, which is a general issue of stress nowadays.
Sugar is a temporary booster
Sugar makes us feel better after eating it in its raw form or as a part of any food but after eating too much of it, we feel dizzy and often regretful because of health concerns.
Even refined sugars disturb the regulation of insulin in our bodies and promote both inflammation and oxidative stress.
Many studies have found links between refined sugars and disturbed functioning of the brain.
Soft drinks disturb the mind
According to the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) people who frequently consume soft drink-related beverages are prone to have poor memory, small overall brain volumes, and small hippocampal volumes (an area of the brain which is important for memory).
To be productive and healthy, we all need to build an environment that supports healthy food choices. In order to reduce the bad effects of food on our minds, the rule of thumb is to apply moderation in everything. Once we will master our food habits, we will be able to master our minds and a healthy lifestyle.
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