Although at first we may not find much affinity between these two areas, the truth is that psychology and nutrition are They relate and even complement each other, because our mental health can affect our diet, and/or vice versa.

Therefore, the relationship between people and food is another reason for study by psychologists, since the link /strong> has a lot to do with physical and mental problems.

It must be taken into account that good nutrition is a fundamental element to enjoy good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity of the body and other physical and mental alterations.

For its part, psychology can improve adherence to a diet, and the professional can provide their services so that individuals can achieve change their behavior and/or lifestyle.

What is emotional eating?

The relationship between emotions and nutrition is very defined, since, in times of emotional instability, we usually consume fatty foods, which causes an imbalance in our diet. Using food to calm our emotional state can be called emotional eating.

When feelings begin to control or overwhelm us, the mind looks for channels of expression to indicate that something is not working as it should. This alert, in the case of feeding, can be observed as:

  • Loss of appetite or lack of desire to eat.
  • Urgent need to lose weight, or distortion of our own image.
  • Inability to gain weight.
  • Compulsion towards food (binge eating, for example). In this case, its presence is more common in adolescence and adulthood. They are usually determined by depressive disorders, anger, severe sadness, boredom, anxiety, stress, or abuse of certain substances.
  • Other eating disorders.

How can we use nutrition in a positive way?

The relationship between certain foods and our mood can be defined as a causal link, so that a poor diet can increase the risk of suffering from depression, while a healthy diet can improve mood considerably.

This lack of will or vitality that many people suffer from (normally due to stress, wear and tear or even routine), can be alleviated naturally if we include in the diet foods that promote the production of serotonin; rich in omega 3 fatty acids or containing tryptophan.

What foods improve our well-being?

  • Chocolate: has the ability to increase the production of serotonin. However, you have to be careful with its high calorie content.
  • Yogurt: increases the amount of Lactobacillus (fermentation bacteria), the loss of which is caused by stress.
  • Walnuts, Brazil nuts and other nuts: in addition to protecting cardiovascular health, their content of vegetable fats, omega 3, magnesium, tryptophan and selenium contribute to making us feel better.
  • Turkey: also has large amounts of tryptophan (stimulates the production of serotonin). It can be substituted with chicken, but the amount of tryptophan would be much lower.
  • Coffee: its caffeine content increases our attention span, and has a protective effect when controlling stress.
  • Chile: Spicy foods are also considered helpful in improving the symptoms of depression. It is a thermogenic food (it increases blood circulation and provides capsaicin, which causes the brain to generate more endorphins).
  • Salmon and tuna: It has a large amount of polyunsaturated fats, such as omega 3. It also appears in anchovies or sardines, but in smaller quantities.
  • Milk: great source of vitamin D, present in few foods. It can be replaced with cheese, cereals, or canned fish.
  • Egg: rich in tryptophan. It can be consumed four to five times a week.
  • Green vegetables: They have large amounts of folic acid or vitamin B9, which makes brain cells function properly.
  • Fruits: contain fructose, which increases energy. In addition, red fruits are antioxidants and help us concentrate better and have more vitality. Consume in moderation!
  • Ginger and other roots: have a stimulating effect, it is recognized as a natural anti-inflammatory and is used to manage symptoms of some diseases, such as arthritis or colds.
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds: contain alpha-linolenic acid (type of omega 3), which makes neuronal communication easier and protects against free radicals.
  • Mushrooms: Rich in vitamin D, they help reduce inflammation, strengthen bones and muscles, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Legumes (chickpeas): provide vitamin B6 (generate serotonin and norepinephrine).
  • Oatmeal: has vitamins B5 and B6, and a high energy content.
  • Black tea: very good relaxant, and effective in combating stress.

And what part of our diet can they negatively influence?

  • Peanuts: their high content of salt and additives can cause a bad mood and sometimes a headache.
  • Margarine: contains processed fats (trans), which make it difficult to metabolize omega 3.
  • Industrial pastries: contain many sugars and refined flours, which produce rapid rises and falls of serotonin, which can translate into mood changes.
  • French fries: They are high in saturated fat.
  • Sausages: rich in preservatives, they can cause headaches and a bad mood.
  • Soft drinks and alcohol: can contain substances that “overactivate” the body, which can cause anxiety, mood swings, nervousness and insomnia.
  • Foods containing refined sugar: provide a strong dose of energy that can weaken glucose control mechanisms.

And you, do you want to take care of yourself?


Copyright © 2023 Psicología Ítaca. All rights reserved