Have you observed how our diet affects our mood? This realization begs the question: what should I eat for my work project’s presentation? What should I change about my diet to make me more persuasive and charismatic? Can I become a better conversationalist in part because of what I consume?
You would not be the first to feel lethargic and a little sick after eating processed, high-fat, high-caloric foods that are common to fast food restaurants. The reason for this feeling is not simply because of the absurd amount of calories that were just consumed.
When we eat a meal, the food is processed in our stomach and then travels to the small intestine. At this point, the food is either absorbed into our bloodstream to eventually make its way to our organs, or it is rejected and cast aside. Our organs are fed by whatever is pulled into our blood, and so what we eat has an immense effect on how our body functions.
This is how it works: to transport information between cells and neurons in the brain, the body uses chemical indicators called neurotransmitters. Serotonin and dopamine are among the most important neurotransmitters because they regulate mood, among other things. Neurotransmitters are composed of amino acids that are developed from the proteins we eat. Immediately, there is a clear connection distinguished between our emotional state and our diet.
Given this information, one might assume that the best possible remedy is to consume as much protein as possible to aid the creation of neurotransmitters. This action might even be detrimental because different types of amino acids compete with one another for their place to create amino acids, which overwhelms the brain with so much input in such a small amount of time.
To prevent this from happening, vegetables and fruits provide another key ingredient to more amino acids for our neurotransmitters. Here are a few rules to follow in order to maximize your mood:
- Complex Carbohydrates: Consume whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice, and other complex carbs. Long-thought to be our most valuable energy nutrient, complex carbs regulate a moderate release of nutrients in the small intestine to the bloodstream, thereby ensuring that the brain has time to process all the nutrients flooding up to it. Complex carbs also take longer than other carbs to digest, thus leaving you feeling satisfied longer.
- Frequent meals: Once again, the brain needs time to process all the nutrients that bombard it. Eating smaller, more frequent meals provides the brain with ample time to process nutrients. Digesting food takes a lot of energy, and so overeating leads to fatigue and lack of energy for other tasks.
- Fruits and Vegetables: A variety of colors and textures from fruits and vegetables in a diet provide vitamins and minerals in a concentrated form found nowhere else.
- Proteins: Moderate amounts of protein at every meal do the trick. Proteins are most often concentrated in meats, but can also be found in beans, legumes, dairy, and nuts. The requirement for protein intake varies from person to person based on age, weight, and other factors, but it is generally recommended that about 10 to 35% of a day’s calories should come from a protein source. Whatever your preferred protein source, take note to fulfill your omega-3 needs or consider a natural fish oil supplement like Kyani Sunset.
It is a relatively common knowledge that diet greatly influences health, but only recently we have been told that it drastically affects our emotions. Habits like skipping breakfast and eating fast food frequently should seriously be reconsidered, since there are easy food options like oatmeal and boiled eggs that would satisfy time constraints and the need for a healthy diet.
Good food increases mood positivity, which in turn will influence work productiveness throughout the week. It’s a sacrifice well worth the effort!