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Five types of food to increase your psychological well-being

Omega 3

Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are involved in the process of converting food into energy. They are important for the health of the brain and the communication of its feel-good chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Omega 3 are essential nutrients that are not readily produced by the body, so we must include foods high on it in our diet. 

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Five types of food to increase your psychological well-being

Five types of food to increase your psychological well-being

http://theconversation.com/five-types-of-food-to-increase-your-psychological-well-being-101818

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are found in fiber and starch and are beneficial for brain health as they release glucose slowly into our system, helping stabilize our mood. Simple carbohydrates are found in sugary foods, cause fluctuations of feelings of happiness and produce a negative effect on our psychological well-being.

Antioxidants

Our cells generate energy through oxidation, but oxidation also reduces the dopamine and serotonin in the brain and creates oxidative stress.

Antioxidants found in brightly colored foods like fruits and vegetables act as a defense against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body. Antioxidants also repair oxidative damage and scavenge free radicals that cause cell damage in the brain. 

B Vitamins

B vitamins aids in the production of our brain’s happiness chemicals serotonin and dopamine and can be found in green vegetables, beans, bananas, and beetroot.

High amounts of vitamins B6, B12, and folate in the diet have been known to protect against depression and too low amounts to worsen the symptoms.

Prebiotics And Probiotics

Our gut’s flora influences our mood, behavior and brain health. Chemical messengers produced in our stomach influence our emotions, appetite and our reactions to stressful situations.

Prebiotics and probiotics found in yogurt, cheese and fermented foods work on the same pathways in the brain as antidepressant medications and studies have found they might have similar effects

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Our Microbiome Affects Our Mood

Our state of mind gets affected by our gut bacteria, which is part of our Microbiome.

Probiotics are live bacterial supplements and Prebiotics are the dietary fiber that promotes bacterial growth. In various experiments, scientists have been able to alter our stress response, anxiety levels and reduce mental health problems by administering Probiotics/Prebiotics in our stomach.

Psychobiotics

Psychobiotics is an upcoming class of medicines geared towards promoting psychological health through the alteration of your microbiota (Gut Bacteria).

Doctors have known since long that certain mental health problems do have their origin in the gut, like inflammation, but a detailed study on mice is now being done, with large-scale studies on humans in the offing.

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Improve your diet and start moving
  • Wholefoods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean red meat, and seafood, provide nutrients that are important for optimal brain function. 
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Reduce your vices

People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have far poorer health outcomes.

Stopping smoking is an important step, as nicotine-addicted people are constantly at the mercy of a withdrawal-craving cycle, which profoundly affects mood. 

Prioritize rest and sleep

Sleep hygiene techniques aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia. 

They include: adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep),  limiting exposure to the blue light from smartphones, and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.

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Dopamine Explained

We all seek happiness, and there is a scientific way we can find it.

Dopamine, the feel-good chemical in our brains, positively affects our mood, focus, energy and behaviour.

Happiness Centre: Dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls our brain's reward and pleasure centre. It can help us:

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  • Fight against Depression
  • Be Motivated
  • Improve our Memory
  • Feel Happy
  • Stay mentally strong
  • Reduce bad habits
  • Increase Feelings of contentment
How Dopamine Works

The body and mind seek pleasureable experiences, resulting in the neurons creating dopamine in our brain. This can be also overdone using drugs, leaving a negative impact eventually.

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