Food choice linked to mood; a healthy gut also helps

Jaime E. Love

MATTHEWS, N.C. (WWAY) – You’ve heard the term you are what you eat – but how does food affect your mood?

According to a Novant Health spokesperson, the feel good brain chemical known as serotonin is produced in the digestive track.

Matthews Wellness Center’s registered dietician Jennifer Anderson works with patients who have lung and heart disease – and guides them to use food as a way to heal their bodies and emotions.

Low energy — often followed by a drop in sugar levels — can lead to agitation, shakiness and irritability, according to Anderson.
Those symptoms can be reversed by simply consuming foods such as carbs or those that contain probiotics; keeping your gut healthy, also helps.

“Our gut microbiome is filled with millions, and millions, of millions of bacteria, and we know that is actually really, really, beneficial to keep our bodies healthy,” she said.

“All of the vitamins, or minerals can be found in those foods, they definitely do support our bodies in numerous ways.”

However — not all bacteria are good.

“We also know that there are unhealthy bacteria, if they grow out of control, that can wreak havoc and cause digestive problems,” she said.

Anderson said to consider foods high in fiber which will help in the digestive process and also feed the healthy bacteria.

She also recommends fermented foods, kimchi, pickled foods and a Mediterranean based diet.

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