Your Brain on Food

How chemicals control your thoughts and feelings.

Can Your Diet Make You Feel Depressed?

If you’re feeling down, it might be your diet. However, do not expect your diet to make you feel happy; most often, a good diet will only prevent you from feeling depressed. Read More

I explored the connection

I explored the connection between eating habits and depression in my latest blog, and I ran into this article looking for different perspectives on the issue. I appreciate the author's perspective here, that what you eat is related to depression, but it's not the entire cause or cure. In my own experience, I am more prone to depression when I eat more junk than whole foods, but some junk here and there doesn't break me. Despite lack of adequate scientific evidence, I do think that eating mostly unprocessed foods can also help lift depression. In the end, though, it's more important to eat *something* than the "right" thing.

The influence of diet on your mood

Maybe I miss understood some aspects, so please set me straight here if need be. Different fruits contain different chemical particles. Some foods are high in potassium, others are high in calcium or nitrogen. On a more macro scale, some foods contain more glucose or fatty acids or amino acids. All these different particles are required in different quantities and are used to perform different tasks with in the body. Thus a lack of a certain particle many prohibit the production of a certain hormone or the function of a certain organelle, thus resulting in an altered mood, for better or worse (usually worse). Carbohydrates (especially when from processed food, so I'm told) make one lethargic, they are also converted to fat which produces estrogen, which may have a further effect on the a persons behavior or mood. My point is this: By cutting out carbs from your diet, it is possible for the individual to feel less lethargic and thus more energetic, meaning a heightened point processing point. So surely by eating certain foods and omitting others, one can increase effectively increase the chances of having an overall better mood?

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Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University.

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