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How Does Food Impact Your Mood?

We know that the foods we eat affect our physical health. But did you know that your diet can also impact your mood?

That’s because of the brain-gut connection. Your vagus nerve runs from the brain all the way down, attaching to the stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidneys and spleen. The vagus nerve does quite a bit, but the majority of its function is sending information from your organs to your brain.

So, what does that mean practically? It means that once your food is digested, those nutrients will send a message back to your brain. Eating foods high in nutrients can increase feel-good chemicals in your brain, like serotonin and dopamine. Conversely, eating foods that are highly processed and packed with refined sugars can lead to spikes in blood sugar, followed by crashes. And this can leave you feeling sluggish, hangry, and can even contribute to mood disorders like anxiety.

Foods That Boost Mood

Want to improve your mood with your diet? The best thing you can do is eat a nutrient-dense diet filled with a good variety of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Make sure you’re getting a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and nuts and seeds. Whenever possible, opt for whole foods, unrefined foods, and avoid foods that have been processed and long ingredient lists with chemicals you can’t pronounce.

Some key nutrients that can contribute to an elevated mood include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids - specifically DHA and EPA

  • Vitamin D

  • Potassium

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin B12

  • Folate

  • Fiber

  • Iron

  • Antioxidants

  • Zinc

  • Selenium

Ready to take the next step in elevating your mood with food?

If you want to understand HOW your body uses the food you eat, so you can make choices that give you the results you desire, join us in Healthy Food for a Happy Mood.


The content found on Integrative Counseling and Nutrition Consulting platform is not intended to be a substitute for professional therapeutic advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your psychiatrist, therapist or other qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition.


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