Food & Mood: Emerging Research Underscores The Link Between What You Eat And How You Feel

The secret to happiness may be in your next meal. According to findings from studies that have examined the connection between food and mood, what you eat plays a role in how content you feel. For example, protein-rich foods affect alertness and that carbohydrate-rich foods help with relaxation. The specific foods that had the most mood-lifting benefits were fruits, nuts, legumes, and olive oil.

In a study, which observed more than 1000 women (aged 20-93), researchers found that a diet full of processed and fried foods, refined grains, sugary products, and beer was associated with more symptoms of depression. A similar study found that participants in their 50s who ate a diet full of sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products had a 1.5 times greater risk of depression than those whose diet was heavily loaded with vegetables, fruit, and fish.

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