I could give you many reasons why we should implement plant-based foods in our diets. But for the sake of this post, I’ll give you one at the top of the list!
A plant-based diet and/or healthier diet is a mood-changer!
Believe it or not, what we eat can make a difference in how we feel. According to Monique Tello, MD, MPH, and contributing editor of the Harvard Health website, what we eat matters for every aspect of our health, but especially our mental health.
“A dietary pattern characterized by a high intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grain, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy and antioxidants and low intakes of animal foods was apparently associated with a decreased risk of depression. A dietary pattern characterized by a high consumption of red and/or processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes and high-fat gravy, and low intakes of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression.”
The food/mood connection makes so much sense to me. Especially, when I can recall a few times I’ve felt shitty after eating what I wasn’t supposed to be eating.
Via Dr. Axe
What we eat affects the neurotransmitters our brain produces. These are the brain chemicals which guide how we’re feeling. Neurotransmitters like serotonin help us relax, while dopamine can help us feel more focused. The foods we eat provide the building blocks for these chemicals, as our brains extract the nutrients necessary from the foods we eat to create the neurotransmitters, which, in turn, regulate and enhance our moods.
But if our brains aren’t given the fuel they need to provide the right balance of neurotransmitters, we can be prone to mood swings, seemingly endless bad days and more. While foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like wild-caught salmon and avocado, boost our moods, low-quality food actually negatively impact your brain. For example, studies have linked ultra-processed foods like fast foods and baked goods to depression, greater aggression, anxiety and other mental illnesses.
So, there you have it! If there’s no reason for you to eat healthier, getting out of a depressed state should make you change your mind. Our physical well-being and mental well-being are interconnected. Let’s start taking better care of ourselves, starting from the inside out.