How Eating Certain Foods Can Affect Your Mood
Have you ever wondered why eating certain foods will almost magically change your mood. Eating one group of foods will make you feel perky and energized while other foods will leave you feeling a little sluggish, making you wanting to take a nap.
The reason is because of the way that the nutrients which are resident in these foods interacts with the chemicals in the brain. They will either enhance the levels of our alertness and motivate us or it can slow the brain down and create snooze time.
Nutritionists for a while have known that eating certain meals which are comprised primarily of carbohydrates can be extremely bad for you. Carb based foods such as white bread which lacks fiber can almost instantly rob you of your energy. On the other hand, meals which are high in protein helps in making you feel extremely fresh and alert.
Research shows that certain carbohydrates will help in the elevation of serotonin, which calms, relaxes and slows the brain down. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin, which is the primary hormone that puts you to sleep.
This research has also discovered that the primary reason why we often crave carbohydrates is because we feel a noticeable reduction of serotonin levels in the brain.
Bringing Up The Serotonin Levels
Certain carbohydrates will elevate the serotonin levels by stimulating the insulin levels, which then in turn drives up the tryptophan levels. Tryptophan is an amino acid as well as a primary building block of the serotonin which is present in the brain.
Since feelings of depression or extreme stress will deplete the tryptophan levels, this is believed to be the primary reason why we begin to develop a hunger for carbohydrates when we’re feeling stressed out or a little down.
It’s also pretty much known that processed carbohydrates will cause extreme blood sugar fluctuations which can potentially lead towards hypoglycemic or low blood sugar episodes.
The human body operates in an extremely narrow blood sugar range. So each time that you consume high-glycemic carbohydrates, which are those carbs that releases sugar rapidly into the blood stream, it can then stimulate excess insulin production in an attempt to balance out the body.
The problem with this is that the insulin will remain active even once the blood sugar is lowered, which will then cause the body to naturally crave even more carbohydrates or sugar to raise its blood sugar levels and the cycle then repeats itself again.
Protein Stimulates The Brain
Foods and meals which are high in protein tends to stimulate and energize the brain instead of sedating it. Researchers has discovered that there are few reasons for this.
First, consuming foods which contain complex proteins, such as fish, chicken or eggs, all contain extremely high levels phenylalanine and tyrosine, which are amino acids. These are the building blocks which stimulates the dopamine and norepinephrine chemicals in the brain.
It’s important to know that these proteins as well as a few other will compete with the “tryptophan” for gaining entry into the brain. So whichever gains entry first or whichever element is prominent determines the way you feel.
One other reason why carbohydrates tend to directly decrease levels of alertness when compared to its protein counterparts is because their biological effects blocks the levels of certain brain chemicals which are known as orexins.
This is found within the hypothalamus area of the brain. What orexins does is it will work to enhance the levels of our alertness. Researchers has discovered that just small increases or spikes of blood sugar levels will cause sleepiness by it being able to suppress orexins.
So the next time that you decide to grab that doughnut or piece of cake for breakfast, you’ll know why you need that extra jolt of coffee just to keep you alert and carry you through to lunchtime.
Instead, try a healthier protein drink in the morning with fresh berries and essential fats. Your mind as well as your body will instantly thank you for it!