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Psychology & Nutrition

Psychology & Nutrition

Think about it. The brain is in constant operation, it never stops. This means that one has to constantly supply it with energy. Fuels for the proper functioning of the brain come from the foods we consume. And, as an expensive car needs very good quality fuel, so does the brain work better if it has the necessary trace elements, vitamins and antioxidants that help reduce free radicals.

A recent publication in the acclaimed scientific journal Lancet Psychiatry, highlights the effect that processed foods have on brain function. For example, processed carbohydrates can be harmful to the functioning of the brain, and may contribute to mood disorders or depression.

What is striking is that for several decades there have been no studies that highlight this relationship between mood and nutrition, but it now appears that this relationship is mediated both directly by oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, and indirectly by the change in microbiota in the body.

The microorganisms present in our intestinal microbiome play a very important role in our overall health. They protect the intestinal mucosa from pathogenic bacteria, contribute to better absorption of specific nutrients, and activate specific neural pathways of the gastrointestinal system's communication with the brain. Let's not forget that serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate appetite, sleep and mood. 95% of serotonin is produced in the human gastrointestinal system, which communicates directly through hundreds of thousands of nerve cells to the brain.

Studies show that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and good fats, unprocessed cereals, seafood, and fish, can reduce the risk of depression by as much as 25-35% compared to a western diet that is richer in processed foods. At the same time, it is worth noting that the Mediterranean diet often includes fermented foods and is therefore rich in probiotics. Such foods are olives, sour milk, beer, yogurt and cheese. Recent studies have shown that an "enhanced" microflora affects both the levels of inflammation in the body and the mood of humans.

If you are in need of a better mood then focus on improving the quality of your diet by enhancing your intake of unprocessed foods and limiting standard, processed foods that lack valuable nutrients.

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