“You are what you eat!” We all are definitely familiar with this saying. We tend to hear it in context with getting in shape and/or losing weight. Our diet is known to have an affect on our weight and physical health, but haven’t you noticed after eating so much junk food, you start to feel unhealthy in general? You’re more tired, sluggish, out of in, and sometimes even miserable? Because our brain is a part of our body, there’s definitely a connection on how food affects our mood.

For example, a diet high in sugar and refined carbs spikes our insulin which is associated with inflammation and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But if we look at the how sugar affects the body similarly to addictive drugs, it can cause cravings and withdrawals too. This diet fogs our mental clarity and can cause anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder.

When we’re trying to eat healthy, we shouldn’t just focus on losing weight, but keeping in mind our physical and mental wellbeing. For example, there are both physical and mental health benefits to eating food sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon or flaxseeds. These benefits are anti-inflammatory and help with depression and bipolar disorder. It is possible to eat to a happier mood. First step, increasing our omega-3 intake. Just like we can eat something that makes us feel sluggish, we can eat something that will make us feel happy, clear headed, and focused.

How does this happen? Well foods can aid our bodies in producing proteins and chemicals, both good and bad. When we eat more of the good nutrients that influence the functioning and processing in the brain, we can pump up the happy thoughts. We are adding more building blocks our body needs to keep itself working strong.

Here’s a list of top foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to get your happy thoughts firing.

Flaxseed oil
Fish oil (salmon or mackerel)
Chia seeds
Fish roe (caviar)
Seafood (oysters or mussels)

If you struggle with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder – or struggling with mental clarity in general – please contact Crownview Medical Group to get connected with a specialized professional in nutrition and mental health who can help guide you.