Good Food = Good MOOD! It’s as simple as that, so how can we better our mood with the food we eat and what are the benefits? Let’s dive into the science behind the food that we eat and how it’s connected to our mood, as well as the benefits of putting mindful eating into practice.
The science behind the food we eat & our mood:
If you’ve ever heard about the gut/brain connection or the second brain living in your gut, then you may also know that up to 90% of our body’s serotonin (hello happy hormones) is made in our gut! Meaning, when our gut is happy, we’re happy.
Our gut is constantly communicating with our brain, and is often referred to as our ‘second brain’ because it has that much of an influence on how our brain functions. If we’re consuming foods that are not supportive of our gut, then that communication is going to be hindered as well. When we’re eating good-for-you foods, our brain is able to function properly and releasing dopamine which creates feelings of reward, motivation & being productive.
How can we have a happy gut?
1. Eat an abundance of vegetables, fruits and legumes AKA Fiber-Rich foods!
Fiber not only helps to balance blood sugar, but it also feeds healthy bacteria in your gut and is beneficial for optimal digestion. Açaí is very dense in fiber and you can get as much as 3g (11%DV) in one of SAMBAZON’s Superfruit Packs! You can also add other fiber-rich foods to your Açaí bowls such as chia seeds which offer up 4g of fiber per tablespoon to get an extra boost.
2. Focus on getting in your probiotics!
Whether this is through fermented foods like coconut yogurt (which pairs great with an Açaí bowl or in a smoothie ;)), or taking a probiotic supplement, this is going to promote healthy gut bacteria.
3. Manage your stress levels!
It’s no secret that our stress will affect us negatively, but you may not know that it’s harmful to the gut and how we digest our food. Try exercises such as mindful eating (no distractions, put the phone away!), taking a couple of deep breaths before consuming your food and chewing to an” apple sauce like” consistency with each bite.
4. Stay Hydrated!
Staying hydrated is great for digestion and to relieve any constipation in the gut. Adequate hydration can also help to promote healthy gut bacteria as well. How much will vary depending on your activity levels! We recommend tracking your water intake by getting a 1 liter water bottle you love and adding reminders in your calendar every few hours to track your intake throughout the day.
5. Exercise Regularly!
Whether this is your favorite yoga class, a nice walk or strength training, find something that you genuinely enjoy. Moving your body has many mental and physical benefits outside of improving gut health as well, but it has also been shown that it may increase the gut microbiome diversity as well!
What are the benefits of eating GOOD FOOD?
As we covered, one of the main benefits is going to be an overall better MOOD! When we’re fueling our body well, we can also see other benefits that relate to our overall mood such as…
1. Higher energy levels:
To see this in action, start to journal how you feel before and a few hours after a meal. You might start to notice patterns in how the food you eat positively or negatively affects your energy.
2. Improved concentration & attention span:
If you’re under fueled food wise, you will most likely notice that you may not have a productive day at the office or that you can’t stay engaged in a conversation. Our brains function optimally when we’re fueling ourselves with good-for-you foods.
3. Help to regulate/manage stress:
Pretty sure we could ALL benefit from this one. A poor diet can contribute to physical and mental stress overtime. From an under-fueling perspective, you may not feel hungry at certain times if your body is constantly in fight or flight mode.
4. Less irritability:
Ever heard of the term “hangry” before? That’s a real thing! When we’re not properly nourished, you might notice that you have less patience or are less level-headed with loved ones or at work. Properly fueling your body can lead you to be more clear-headed and have much more zest for life and zen to spread around!
When you’re consuming foods, I truly believe that you ingest and digest the energy of those foods... which is why the efficacy behind the quality of the food we eat and how it’s sourced is so important. This is why I'm a huge fan of the SAMBAZON Pure Unsweetened Superfruit Packs which are sourced from the Brazilian Rainforest, are Fair Trade Certified, non-GMO and organic. I know I’m consuming the best of the best and fueling my body with amazing nutrients, antioxidants and superfoods = INSTANT mood boost.