Good Mood Food Guide – The New Indian Express

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, warned us that poor digestion is the root of all evil. He also said that death sits in the gut. This may have seemed like some kind of exaggeration 2,500 years ago when he said it, but nutritional psychiatry today will tell you he was right.

To explore the world of gut feelings, Dr. Nandita Iyer, author and food blogger, examined and explained the importance of maintaining a gut hub. This is the two-way link between the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system that regulates food and mood. In her new book Everyday Superfoods, she explains how small, healthy additions can positively impact gut bacteria, thus improving brain and gut health.

There is a lot of talk about superfoods but little understanding of what they do. Additionally, in a country as large as India, it is important to look at the huge variety in terms of superfoods. Whether it is a variety of millet available in Karnataka, high quality amaranth found in Himachal Pradesh or pure turmeric from Salem in Tamil Nadu, Iyer highlights their importance and ease of use in everyday food. There are easy recipes and meal plans that teach you how to get the best out of these superfoods. Whether it’s to boost immunity, control diabetes or lower blood pressure, there is help for everyone.

Ayer’s primary appeal is to make smart food choices. Beans, leafy greens, yogurt, oats, and beets are some of the things you can start with to boost your gut health. Eating a diet rich in fermentable fiber (prebiotics) such as fruits, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fermented foods (probiotics) such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi feeds good gut bacteria, which produce neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and others that regulate mood. Helps reduce anxiety and improve focus.

Stay away from ultra-processed foods, Ayer suggests, because they contain sugar, starch, hydrogenated fats, and artificial colors. Studies show how seeds like flaxseeds, chia, hemp, and walnuts are rich in omega-3s and naturally reduce anxiety. Reducing your intake of gluten, added sugars, and unhealthy fats also helps. If you find yourself binge-watching soap operas because you can’t sleep, or feel sluggish in your day-to-day functions, check your plate.

Superfoods that are readily available and pocket-friendly

  • or not

  • amaranth

  • Pepper

  • black eye peas

  • chickpeas

  • black pepper

  • Curcuma

  • cabbage

  • an onion

  • garlic

  • moringa leaves

  • Prebiotics and probiotics

  • Fermented foods

It’s better to avoid it

Easy ways to manage your mood

  1. Don’t miss meals. If your blood sugar goes up and down frequently, it can dampen your mood as well.

  2. Do not start your day with caffeine as it wakes up your system. You can eat nuts or fruit first thing in the morning.

  3. Slow down and check how you feel. If you’re too stressed, your gut won’t process food properly. This will make you irritable.

  4. Drink enough water. Decreased fluid intake can lead to brain fog and other serious problems over time. It may interfere with the functioning of the gut, which can put you in a bad mood.

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