We have often wondered does the kind of food you consume affect your mental health? Do certain types of food make you 'feel better'? Do certain types of food make you 'feel miserable'? The answer to this question is YES, in bold capital. The food you consume definitely impacts your mood. For example, food that contains excessive sugar like a doughnut or candy will give you an instant burst of energy followed by feelings of extreme lows and dullness.
Sugar is probably just one example of how food affects mood. The sugar that is present in candy, soda, syrups, jams can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate like a roller coaster, leaving you in a bad cranky mood. On the other hand eating a balanced breakfast of lean proteins, good fats and whole grain carbohydrates can lead to improved mood, better memory and a good amount of energy throughout the day. Skipping breakfast leads to low moods, anxiety, dullness, lethargy and fatigue.
It is important to note that the right amount of nutrients is required to balance the neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for your moods. To make it simpler to understand let me give an example here. Foods like complex carbohydrates (jowar, bajri, millets, etc) slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and increase the level of Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for happiness. Tryptophan found in oats, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, meat, eggs, fish has also been found to increase the level of Serotonin in the brain.
On the other hand, foods that may contribute to depression include processed food ( ready to eat packaged food), alcohol, caffeine, foods high in sodium (again, packaged food), artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, etc. This kind of food affects the body's metabolism in-turn leading to an imbalance of the neurotransmitters. Excessive sugar and sodium are known to increase hyperactivity and low concentration in children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
It is indeed important to have a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and is a healthy mix of carbohydrates, natural fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to maintain mood stability.