In recent years, there is an increased awareness of how food affects our emotional state and how our emotional state affects what we eat.
Our mindset has a direct impact on everything that we do. Optimal performance at work, sports, social life and diet depends on how well we manage our state of mind and our emotional internal world. Balance and harmony between our thoughts, feelings and behaviour will maximise our experience and our chances to attain any objective we set for ourselves.
Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash
Psychology applied to food and its usefulness
Eating is more than just an instinctive act, all of our being comes into play when we eat.
Mood and Nutrition
Research has shown that there is a correlation between mood and food. Recent findings indicate that there are many connections between what we eat and the types of bacteria that live in our guts which affect how we feel and even, how we behave. Advances in neurogastronomy reflect the signifincance of such findings as eating is a unique and subjective interpretation of flavors.
In this sense, the psychology of food is not only applied to improve people's well-being, but restaurants, for example, make use of environmental psychology so that customers are more satisfied with what they eat and even consume more .
The inner workings of our digestive systems don’t just help us digest food, they also guide our emotions. Our bodies produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods and inhibit pain. Ninety-five percent of serotonin is produced in our gastrointestinal tract, which is lined with millions of nerve cells, or neurons.
The Second Brain
Our anxiety levels and perception of stress can improve when we take probiotics, which contain “good” bacteria. Research of traditional diets, such as the Mediterranean diet and the traditional Japanese diet also suggest that the risk of depression can lower up to a 30% when compared to a typical Western diet.
Our Gut, a second brain
“Anyone who has had a tingling in the stomach before speaking in public or who has had sudden diarrhea just before an exam knows the dual action of their brains,” explains dr. M. Gershon, specialist in the new science of neurogastroenterology and author of "The Second Brain"
That sensation is not about anything other than the dual action of our two brains.
The intestine uses the same neurotransmitters as the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in feelings of well-being.
Did you know? 95% of human serotonin is found in the intestine, where it acts as a neurotransmitter, signal mechanism and information exchanger between the "higher" and "lower" brain.
Serotonin can affect "mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behavior."
Furthermore, increase in serotonin levels in the brain can help control anxiety and depression, and the somatic experience associated to it.
The impact of stress can take many forms and changes in digestion, sleep, memory, appetite, mouth dryness can be observed as a results.
Check out our section on Empowering Tools to learn and develop ways to manage stress and anxiety in your day to day life.
Help Us Improve This Article
Did you find an inaccuracy? We work hard to provide accurate and scientifically reliable information. If you have found an error of any kind, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com, please reference the article title and the issue you found.
William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor.
Atsushi Kamiya, M.D., Ph.D., is exploring how mutations in risk genes and environmental factors disrupt how the brain develops and functions, potentially leading to cognitive and mood-related disorders.
Dr. D'Agostino is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida College Of Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology where he develops and tests metabolic therapies, including alternative energy substrates and ketogenic agents for neurological disorders, cancer and wound healing
Entrepreneur and biochemist Erika Ebbel Angle, PhD, has dedicated her life to studying the gut. Dr. Angle is the CEO and co-founder of Ixcela, the Internal Fitness™ company. Ixcela evaluates the gut microbiome using a blood sample, and then offers personalized recommendations to restore gut health.
Your Thoughts about us
From start to finish I was treated with empathy, professionalism and everything was well communicated. I received frequent checks on my comprehension of my treatment and also my schedule. I regularly received communication for any changes, or to ensure that I knew how many sessions remained. The facility was calming and comfortable, easy to find and very welcoming. Marta was exceptional, explained very well the processes, the rationale behind them and the intended output/result. Marta allowed me to be very involved with my progress and treatment, but also respected when I felt I needed to stop. Marta helped me get to the crux of my issues in a controlled and supportive environment and provided tools for outside of the facility. I can't thank her enough for everything. I felt that she was very skilled and knowledgeable and this gave me a confidence in the treatment I received, alongside the regular praise and motivation from Marta.