Food and Behaviour Research

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21 August 2014 - Journal Sentinel - 5 foods for better moods, and 5 more that only bring you down

Did you know the food you eat can literally make you feel happy or sad? Nutrition is one of the main components of mental health, so it’s important to stock your plate with good food while cutting some of those less beneficial alternatives.

“Food can definitely alter your mood,” says Dr. Shoshana Bennett, clinical psychologist, mental health expert, and radio host. “Sometimes the effect is immediate, other times there’s a delay of an hour or so. Over time, the wrong foods can create a continuous foul mood or negative state of mind. Many people still aren't making the connection between their emotional well-being and what they ate for dinner - or the last 200 dinners.” 

Bennett explains that certain foods can negatively affect the neurotransmitters in our brains; these chemicals control sleep, appetite, mood and more. Bad foods can also cause inflammation, which may lead to other physical and mental disorders. She recommends eating these five types of food to feel happy, healthy and balanced:

Complex carbohydrates 
Cold-water fish 
Selenium
Folic acid
Vitamin D

Knowing what foods to skip is just as important as knowing which foods to eat, so Bennett recommends cutting down on these “bad-mood foods”:

Sugar
Sweeteners 
Processed carbs
Hydrogenated oils
Sodium