We all know about the relationship between food and mood. We’ve all watched in horror as the usually caring but hungry loved one turns into some kind of monstrous monster. But is feeling hungry a real phenomenon, or is it just an excuse for terrible behavior? Does food really affect your mood? Can your diet cause depression? What is the connection between food and mental health? So many questions and one little article, so here we go.
Does Feeling Hungry Affect Your Mood?
Hunger is a feeling that turns rational people into irritable, grumpy grumps. It can make people upset, even when they are gambling online at Playamo or spending time with their loved ones. But is hunger the real culprit behind these negative feelings? Or is it just another little monster of low blood sugar?
Why We Get Angry When We’re Hungry
The cause of nervous moods is not hunger, but rather low blood sugar.
When your blood sugar drops, your body releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, trying to inspire you to look for glucose. You may know adrenaline as adrenaline, while cortisol is commonly referred to as the stress hormone, so it’s not surprising that an increase in these hormones leads to arousal.
But other than alienating loved ones and relatives, what other ways does feeling hungry affect you? Hunger can have serious consequences for your health.
Hunger is essentially stress, and stress itself is bad, isn’t it? It’s associated with a higher incidence of headaches, high blood pressure, asthma, skin disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety and heart problems, just to name a few. It is estimated that up to 90% of all doctor visits are stress related.
When your blood glucose levels drop, your body naturally sends signals to correct the situation as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this means that cookies and candy start to look appealing to you. The problem is that sugary snacks will solve the problem, but only in the short term – at the expense of rapidly rising blood sugar levels.
Why is the short-term solution a bad thing? Because rapid spikes in blood glucose levels lead to a rapid drop, and before you know it, you’re stuck in an endless cycle of overeating on a diet of chocolates and sodas, just to keep hunger at bay.
This addiction to sugary treats and convenient but heavily processed foods can lead to an increased risk of all kinds of long-term health problems, including obesity and type II diabetes. Not only that, but bad eating habits can lead to something more sinister: food addiction.
What Food Addiction Is
The idea of food addiction as an eating disorder has gained popularity in recent years, although it remains a controversial topic.
Unhealthy foods and highly processed foods rich in sugar, fats, and salt seem to be particularly associated with increased dopamine transmission.
Reward signals from addictive foods dominate satiety signals, and because they are often non-nutritive, people continue to eat even when they are not hungry.
When someone experiences the pleasure of this dopamine rush combined with the sharp drop in blood glucose levels and the availability of very tasty food, it is the perfect combination for an eating disorder such as compulsive overeating or food addiction.
Here are some common signs of food addiction:
- Continuing to eat certain foods even though you are no longer hungry.
- Overeating to the point of feeling unwell.
- When certain foods are unavailable, you have withdrawal symptoms or struggle to get them.
Food addiction is still up for debate, and being obese does not mean you have compulsive overeating. Before declaring yourself addicted to food, know that there are many ways to get rid of unhealthy eating habits, and learning about nutrition and food psychology can help.
However, if you are concerned about your eating behavior, have developed unhealthy eating habits, or suspect you have an eating disorder, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor.
The Food-Mood Connection and Dietary Psychiatry
How many brains do you have? Only one? Think again. And maybe this time use your intuition.
Yes, your second brain (also known as the intestinal nervous system) is located inside the walls of your digestive tract-the intestines.
We call it the second brain because it is made up of the same cells that power the brain – neurons. In fact, the intestines contain more neurons than the spinal cord or peripheral nervous system.
So, gut health isn’t just about getting enough nutrients and taking care of your gut microbiome bacteria. It’s important for your mental well-being.
There is a lot of research on how the gut affects serotonin levels and mental disorders such as depression. Second brain functions open up new areas of psychiatry and nutritional psychology and highlight the importance of the food we eat to mental health like never before.
Food for Mental Health
Nutrition scientists are increasingly emphasizing the dangerous effects of diet-induced inflammation. There is evidence that some forms of depression may be a symptom of chronic inflammation.
So, what can we do to reduce inflammation in our bodies? It’s very simple. Stick to a healthy diet. This means giving up unhealthy foods and replacing them with very nutritious and healthy foods.
Eliminate inflammatory foods such as sugary foods, artificial trans fats, refined carbohydrates, processed meats and excessive alcohol consumption.
As for foods to add, some of the best foods for mental health and dealing with bad moods are omega-3 fats or fatty acids.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the best for providing these healthy fats due to the high content of oily fish and leafy green plant foods combined with a healthy diet.