Food affects the chemicals in our brain these chemicals are called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters control several of the body’s functions including mood, appetite, thoughts, feelings and our behaviors.
One neurotransmitter that affects mood is called serotonin. Serotonin can be produced by foods such as dairy, beef, poultry, nuts, beans, pasta and even some types of bread.
Most of the brain’s neurotransmitters are actually made from something called amino acids which are obtained from the proteins in various foods. Neurotransmitters are actually the brain’s chemicals that help to motivate, sedate, focus or frustrate us and their complex interaction is what is responsible for shifting your mood and helping to change your mind and how it functions.
Many of the foods we eat directly influence the production or non-production of important neurotransmitters that we need, this directly effects your mood, being happy or sad.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants called anthocyanins which combat inflammation, and free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can harm brain cells and impair brain function. Some research suggests that blueberries may also enable brain cells to send and receive messages more easily.
Research is showing that dieters tend to become depressed about two weeks into a diet, about the time that their serotonin levels have dropped due to the decrease in carbohydrate intake.
Protein sources such as fish, chicken and red meat can help increase alertness. During the digestion process, protein rich foods are broken down into amino acids. Some of those amino acids help to increase the production of neurotransmitters that are known to increase energy levels and alertness.
The early warning signs of serotonin deficiency may be a noticeable loss of enthusiasm for your favorite activity or a lack of joy when eating your favorite foods, also physical symptoms like weight gain or skin breakouts may signal to you that you have a biochemical imbalance.
It has been noted that a lack of selenium can also have a role in causing a bad mood. It seems that individuals who suffer from too little selenium have been shown to be more anxious, irritable, hostile and depressed than people who have normal levels. During a low carb diet it is good to eat foods high in selenium like Brazilian nuts, tuna sandwiches, sunflower seeds and whole grain cereals.
Food Affects Mood Through Chemicals in Your Brain Called Neurotransmitters