A new study has shown that the kind of foods that people eat could trigger mood changes. For example, a healthier, balanced diet was linked to fewer negative emotions.
How the Mood Changes Were Linked to Food
The research was headed by Lina Begdache, a Binghamton University assistant professor of Health and Wellness Studies. Various studies were conducted on adults of different ages. Based on these, the researchers concluded that different foods are more beneficial at different stages of life.
For young adults (people aged 30 or less), Begdache’s team found that those who ate fast food three or more times each week tended to score higher on levels of mental distress. This is most likely due to trans-fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, the specialists say. These can cause mild inflammatory responses in the body.
However, the team was somewhat surprised to learn that, in general, meat is a positive food. They reached this conclusion after noticing that those who consumed it only three times per week or fewer also had lower mental health distress scores.
For adults over the age of thirty, carbohydrates should generally be avoided. This is another surprise, as these are usually linked to the creation of serotonin, a chemical of the brain that promotes good feelings. Instead, people should try eating more fruits. These are a particularly beneficial food for reducing depression or anxiety.
Begdache points to the Mediterranean diet as being a good blend of nutrients. The whole grains provide zinc and the leafy vegetables provide magnesium. Also, various vitamins come from dairy and fruit options.
The study also took the use of vitamin supplements into account, but this had little or no benefit regarding the mood.
Begdache notes that the exact relationship between the diet and mood changes varies from one person to another. As such, there are no fast solutions or set rules. She also says that the evidence seems to indicate that a change in diet could affect the mood within about two weeks.
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