Scientific facts about the connection of our diet with emotional well-being and mental health

Many people have noticed: it's worth eating something delicious, as the mood rises.

But it's not just about the subjective perception of a particular dish: there are products that are beneficial to the nervous system in their composition and contribute to the formation of positive emotions and psychological well-being.

According to scientific research, there are foods that generally heal the central nervous system, help the vessels leading to the brain work, and also stimulate the production of neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for positive emotions, such as serotonin and dopamine.

Research also confirms that following certain dietary recommendations reduces the risk of depression, neurosis and other mental disorders.

Thus, proper nutrition not only supports a good mood, but also helps to calmly survive a stressful situation and even prevents the development of a serious disease — depression.

In this article we will discuss the basic principles of nutrition to achieve specific goals:

  1. To simply improve the mood of healthy people;
  2. To combat depressive disorders;
  3. To calm down and combat the negative effects of stress.

And at the end of the article, we will consider foods harmful to mental health that need to be excluded from the diet.

Recall, in the last article We have reviewed nutritional recommendations for improving cognitive abilities, such as memory , attention , Mental performance .

Mood Boost

There are many foods that boost your mood. It's not just their pleasant taste, but also their special composition.

  1. Bananas. Scientific research confirms that bananas boost your mood . These fruits contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, a lot of fiber, vitamins C, group B, which heal the nervous, cardiovascular, circulatory, immune systems and musculoskeletal system, due to which they already contribute to raising the overall tone. But the most important component affecting mood is the amino acid tryptophan. It is necessary for the production of the hormone of joy serotonin in the body. We also recall that more 5 mood-boosting fruits, you will find in a separate article.
  2. Bitter chocolate. As practical studies by nutritionists from the USA have shown, any chocolate improves mood if a person likes the taste of it. But it is bitter chocolate that contains the most cocoa beans. Namely, their properties are the secret of a good mood. Cocoa beans contain many emotional stimulants: caffeine, theobromine, phenylethylamine, cannabinoids, and tryptophan. All these substances are combined and give the effect of high spirits. In the case of milk chocolate, you need to be careful for three main reasons:
    • It can cause obesity, as it contains a large amount of sugar and fats;
    • Sugar is easily addictive , which is difficult to fight;
    • Surrogates are often sold under the guise of milk chocolate, where there are no cocoa beans at all, but artificial substitutes and other harmful and dangerous substances are in abundance.
  3. Nuts. It is enough to eat a few nuts of any kind once a day instead of a small snack — and the mood will always be normal. High content of vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids, feeding the brain , as well as tryptophan, make nuts an excellent prevention of any emotional disorders.

Fighting Depression

Depression is a much more dangerous condition than is commonly believed. It is very difficult to cure it without resorting to medications, and always under the supervision of a doctor.

But in most cases, it is easy to prevent the development of this disease, including with the help of a properly formulated diet. It is very useful to include some products in the daily menu.

  1. Coffee. This is a very difficult drink: if abused, they can cause great harm to health. But regular use of coffee in the diet in an acceptable amount will prevent many diseases. Scientists confirm that the use of coffee reduces the risk of depression . This is especially noticeable in the case of mature women. Caffeine, aromatic and mineral substances have a very beneficial effect on maintaining the nervous system in a stable state.
  2. Tea. It has a wide range of properties useful for human mental health. But Antidepressant properties of tea are known most of all. Thanks to the amino acid theanine, tea, especially green tea, gives peace and tranquility.
  3. Fish oil. The combination of vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids ensures not only the health of the cardiovascular system, but also the normal functioning of the neurons of the cerebral cortex. Clinical studies have shown that daily Eating fish oil reduces the likelihood of developing depression by at least 30%.
  4. Sea cabbage. This product is rich in magnesium, pantothenic acid and B vitamins, the lack of which imperceptibly results in chronic depression. In addition, seaweed is one of the best suppliers of iodine to the body, on which the functioning of the thyroid gland and nervous system depends. Also sea cabbage useful for neuroses .

Getting rid of stress

Stress itself, that is, a sudden change in the conditions of existence, cannot harm a healthy body: it naturally knows how to adapt to the continuous change of these conditions.

However, the unwillingness to calmly endure stress hits absolutely all systems, weakening the resistance to diseases. Many people start simply &171;jamming&187; stress , which further aggravates the situation.

Therefore, you need to know the properties Soothing products , which can help strengthen the central nervous system and survive any stressful situation without consequences.

  1. Plain water. If a person is nervous and drinks a glass of water at this time, then most often after that he can pull himself together and calm down. Mechanism the effects of ordinary water on stress is related to two points. First, a simple physical action acts as a stress distraction. Secondly, the intake of water into the body normalizes the water balance and improves neural connections. This allows a person to assess the situation more rationally without panicking and reacting too violently to stress.
  2. Soothing Essential Oils . Essential oils are used both inside, 2-3 drops in a spoonful of honey, a glass of juice or a piece of sugar, and for taking baths of 5-8 drops. But the most common method of application is aromatherapy. Soothing essential oils include marjoram, lavender, ilan-ylang, orange, frankincense, mint, rose, bergamot, mandarin, geranium. Aromatherapy sessions relieve tension, eliminate overstrain and help to mobilize in any unforeseen situation.
  3. Honey. Honey has a beneficial effect on the brain and the general condition of the central nervous system, improves blood circulation in the brain and helps to mobilize all the resources of the body. Honey is perfectly combined with soothing teas.

Foods to avoid

It is not uncommon for people suffering from depression to resort to pharmacological drugs-antidepressants. This should not be done under any circumstances unless the treatment is prescribed by a doctor: the result, if there is one, will be temporary and insignificant. and the consequences are dangerous.

But don't underestimate and harm to the brain some products that are commonly used in a stressful situation or depression.

  1. Sweets. Conditionally, they have the status of an antidepressant. But this effect is very temporary and very dangerous in its consequences. Getting used to it Eating stress sweet , a person condemns himself to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, metabolic disorders, obesity and other diseases. But the most dangerous consequence of such "treatment" is sugar addiction : sucrose will help less and less with stress and depression every time , and the volume of sweets will only increase.
  2. Alcohol. Alcohol is also unacceptable as a remedy for depression , because, firstly, the effect of ethanol creates only the appearance of relieving tension: after consuming 50-100 ml of strong alcoholic beverage, all body systems begin to work in an emergency mode. The illusion of relaxation from alcohol is associated with the malfunction of the brain, with a violation of neural connections. But alcohol dependence occurs in any case, if there is a habit of turning to alcohol as an antidepressant.
  3. Fast food. Ready-made food contains, as a rule, a large amount of trans fats, salt, preservatives and flavorings, which excite an increased appetite and make you eat these substandard products even more. Fast food harms absolutely all body systems and provokes diseases of the nervous system more than any other food.


Nutrition affects not only the physical health of a person, but also his psyche. Therefore, you need to be very demanding about what enters the body with food. And healthy and healthy food for the central nervous system has an excellent effect on the work of all other organs.