Cake, ice cream, candy, chips, and fried food – you can feel the regret creeping in. “Why did I eat all of that?” “I feel terrible now.” All these negative thoughts in turn for that five-minute high while eating it.
What most people don’t realize is that it’s not just your food choices bringing regret – there is a much stronger connection between food and mood. Not only does nutrition play a key role in your physical health, but it also directly affects emotional well-being too.
Your gastrointestinal tract and brain relationship is the culprit for the connection between your diet and emotions. Here’s how: billions of bacteria live in your GI tract. This bacteria influences the production of chemical substances that carry messages from the gut to the brain (neurotransmitters). Dopamine and serotonin are two very familiar examples.
When you eat healthy food, “good” bacteria grow, which promotes positive neurotransmitter production. This gives you a “good feeling.” When we constantly fill our bodies with junk (high sugar, fried, and/or processed foods), this causes inflammation and inhibits the production of those positive neurotransmitters. Therefore, we don’t feel as good physically or mentally as when our production is in good shape.
Sugar is a major villain. It disguises itself by being delicious and giving you a temporary “feel good” high. The truth is sugar causes ample inflammation and feeds “bad” bacteria. Plus, that spike in “feel good” vibes is most always followed by a crash that can be detrimental to your mood – leaving you feeling worse.
Sticking to a mostly healthy diet will cause fewer mood fluctuations, improved focus, and more overall happiness day to day. Below are a few healthy diet tips:
Not only will incorporating these tips improve mood, but it will also help with boosting your self-confidence. Most people often resort to the physical aspect when wanting to improve self-confidence. So, you’re in the gym six days a week working hard, but still don’t feel any better about yourself. Eating takeout and drinking all those sugary drinks may have something to do with it.
Not only is this hindering your physical gains, but it’s also bringing you down mentally. Even though you work out hard, your body is still inflamed from consuming so much processed food and sugar, there is no room for those “feel good” messages to get to your brain. Those “feel good” messages are some of the building blocks for the growth of self-confidence.
Confidence, positivity and health stem from self-care. Spa days, meditation, therapy and physical activity are all great forms of self-care. Don’t forget to add nutrition to that list as well. The food you are consuming may be affecting your well-being more than you think. Good food puts you in a good mood.
About the Author
Meagan Germaine is a competitive bikini athlete in the WBFF and NPC. Germaine is passionate about empowering women to be mentally tough, learn how food is life, and how to be their own body goals. Germaine currently works as a women’s fitness coach and is a certified elite trainer at her company, Megs Body Shop.