Everything you do is fueled by food. Breathing, sleeping, thinking, walking, and working are all things your body can’t do without proper food. So it’s no surprise that food would also play a role in your mental health.  What you eat greatly affects your mood and mental health.

Your brain functions best with the best food. Eating the best food that is high in nutrients and vitamins will allow your brain to stay healthy. Eating low quality foods can actually damage the brain. It has been found that diets high in sugar are especially damaging to the brain. This can worsen or create symptoms of depression.

How foods affect how you feel:

Serotonin is a chemical that regulates mood. Serotonin is developed in the gastrointestinal tract so it makes sense that what you eat would have a great effect on your mood. What’s more is that your body creates “good bacteria” when given the right foods which have a direct effect on the serotonin neurons. These bacteria play an essential role in the digestive system by preventing inflammation and fighting bad bacteria. It’s important to eat well to promote the growth of this “good bacteria”. It has been shown that following a traditional diet of lean proteins, greens, and carbs lowers your risk of depression greatly. The typical western diet does not promote clean eating and instead emphasizes eating processed foods.

What does this mean for you?:

To start transforming your eating habits start paying attention to how you feel after eating the foods you do. Do you immediately feel bloated and uncomfortable? If so these foods are clearly not good for your digestive tract and are doing damage to your “good bacteria”. If you feel full but nourished and healthy the foods you eat are doing good things in your body. If you constantly feel bad try eating clean for 1-3 weeks and see how it changes your mood and overall feeling of health. Many report feeling much better after a few weeks of eating clean. If you wish to eat clean there are plenty of options and recipes out there.