Psychology and nutrition are two related disciplines, and in recent years food psychology has gained ground. There is a growing awareness of how our emotions affect the way we eat and how we eat affects our emotional state. Of course, also for our general health.
In this article we will review the most important aspects of food psychology and we will deepen the different foods that have an impact on our emotional state.
Food and emotions
The relationship between food and emotions is a phenomenon that has sparked the interest of researchers, who understand that food influences our mood, but it also influences our emotions in food. For example, when we are stressed we tend to eat less well, which also happens when we are bored.
In fact, it is well known that “Night Eating Syndrome” is an eating disorder closely related to anxiety and depression, and you can read more about it in our article: “Night Eating Syndrome”. ‘nocturnal eating: causes, symptoms and treatment of this eating disorder’.
Studies also suggest that emotions are essential for weight loss., Because when we enjoy emotional balance, it is easier for us to stick to a diet and thus achieve our goals. According to a Consumer Reports National Research Center study, which involved 1,300 psychologists who answered questions about their work with clients with weight loss issues, they concluded that emotions can hinder the weight loss plan. .
- If you want to know more about this topic, you can read our article: “Emotions are the biggest obstacle to weight loss”
What effect does emotional nutrition have on our body
What we eat affects our overall health because the nutrients in food allow us to have optimal energy levels and allow us to supply the body with the substances it needs for proper functioning.
Foods also influence our mood as some contain amino acids and other chemicals, such as tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with happiness, which at low levels is related to health. depression and obsession.
Emotional foods: what are they?
However, What foods influence our mood? A study by the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College attempted to provide scientific evidence on which foods have the greatest influence on mood. The results conclude that they are as follows.
Strawberries are a delicious fruit that is ideal when paired with cream. Besides being an aphrodisiac food, it also appears to be great for improving emotional state. And why? For vitamin C, which has been shown to be an excellent protector of endorphins, Hormones related to pleasure, euphoria and sexuality. In addition, the potassium they contain seems to be the key to regulating the nervous system.
Cherries are another delicious fruit that also influences people’s moods. On a physical level, they are good for lowering uric acid levels and they are used as a preventive treatment against gout and contain anti-inflammatory properties. These are antioxidants that fight free radicals. Psychologically, they have a great influence on mood swings, anxiety and stress levels.
Oats are a high protein cereal that contains many antioxidants and vitamins and, thanks to this, has many health benefits both physically and emotionally. Regarding the latter, it brings vitality, that is to say it fights fatigue and low energy levels. In this sense, it also improves mood.
- It is also an excellent food for weight loss, as you can see in our article: “24 fatty (and very healthy) creams”
4. Milk and its derivatives
Dairy products are an excellent source of vitamins A and B and minerals, including calcium and phosphorus.. They’re also rich in high-quality protein, and their amino acids help improve memory and mood. Some studies claim that milk is relaxing because it contains tryptophan, which as I mentioned increases serotonin levels which is linked to a positive mood.
In addition to milk, eggs are also rich in high-quality vitamins, minerals and proteins, so they have the same benefits as milk and its derivatives.
- If you want to know more about its properties, in our article “20 foods very rich in protein”
Few foods are more delicious than chocolate. Of course, only their high cocoa versions are healthy. Chocolate releases dopamine and therefore other neurochemicals linked to pleasure such as endorphins, Serotonin and phenylethylamine. Hence, it is good for improving mood and, according to some studies, helps to relax. However, its consumption should be moderate.
From an early age, we have always been told to consume spinach, especially for its iron and vitamin C content. But so is spinach. they are high in folic acid, which appears to increase serotonin levels and, thanks to it, it improves mood.
Fish, mainly those high in omega-3 fatty acids, should also be included in this list, as it appears that they can be the key to relieving depression and anxiety naturally. Some fish rich in these healthy fats are: mackerel, sardines or salmon.
Pineapple is a very versatile exotic fruit, which can be added to salads and pizzas. According to the opinion, it promotes the production of serotonin, which helps to improve mood, calm and bring more vitality. It also seems to help you fall asleep.
Research suggests nuts may have properties that influence moodAs without foods rich in vitamin B, protein and selenium. Selenium is a mineral that could positively influence mood, and studies suggest that diets high in this mineral help to have a clearer mind, more self-confidence, less anxiety, and less confusion.