Food And Mood-The Interplay Between Nutrition, Mood, Brain, And Behavior.

  • Priya Magesh DR.
Keywords: Behaviour, food, nutrition, mood


Certain foods and nutrients help brain to make chemicals that can impact mood, attention and focus, while other foods can zap our energy. The best meal to enhance our mood is one that combines complex carbohydrates with lean proteins. For example, complex carbohydrates from whole foods (like sweet potatoes, rolled oats, beans and quinoa) can increase availability of the feel-good chemical serotonin in our brain. Protein consumption (from foods like fish, beef, chicken, turkey, tofu, beans, eggs and unsweetened yogurt) which has been linked to higher levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are brain chemicals that play a role in our mood, motivation and concentration. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish your body and have also been shown to boost happiness.  The focus of nutrition research is shifting away from nutrients in isolation and toward the unique interactions that occur between nutrients in food. Eating moderate portions of a wide variety of whole, minimally processed foods will provide optimal nutrition and contribute to overall diet satisfaction. A healthy eating pattern should include foods from every food group: dairy, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein. Eating healthfully under this broad definition can look different depending on factors such as age, physical activity, health condition, taste preference and cultural variation. 

 This article explores how food affects our mental health, helps in using food to improve our overall mental and physical wellbeing. More research is needed on the impact of individual nutrients on mental health disorders, yet it is clear there is a link between low-nutrient, highly processed diets and mental health issues. Early intervention for mental disorders is key, so ensuring children receive nourishing food and are educated about nutrition is more important than ever. Physical and mental states are closely intertwined, and nutrition plays an important role in maintaining a state of health and wellness. A nourished body and mind will be better equipped to handle life’s challenges.