Food and Mood

Posted on November 30th, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen

Did you know that your brain is a reflection of the nutrients it receives from
 the biochemical information (food) you feed it? Your brain needs nourishment and whether you are upbeat or feeling blue is strongly influenced by how your “second brain” (your digestive tract) digests and absorbs the “information” you are eating. Thus, your mood is a mirror not only of what you eat but also how you digest!

Here are five quick nutrition tips to boost your mood and lift your spirit:

1. Nourish your “mood-cell membranes” with healthy fats such as avocado, wild fatty fish (sardines, wild salmon, or black cod), nuts, seeds, olives, coconut, and smart oils like extra-virgin olive oil.

2. “B-happy” by including whole foods such as beans, dark, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains rich in B-vitamins in your diet.

3. Color your plate with vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices that deliver a portfolio of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory jewels that keep cells healthy so that positive information can be transmitted without interference from cellular debris.

4. Capitalize on cephalic digestion, which means obtaining maximum nutrition from your meals and snacks by savoring the aesthetic qualities of your food, eating with awareness, and thoroughly chewing every bite.

5. Let the sunshine in—and on—you! Incidental sunlight helps your body manufacture vitamin D, which is vitally important for mood, mind, and memory.

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About Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RD, LDN

Kathie is a leading educator, innovator, and practitioner in the field of integrative nutrition. She is author of The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health. Kathie recently won the Making a Difference Award from Today's Dietitian. She is the Chief Nutrition Advisor for My Food Health, an online program that provides customized meal plans for individuals with various health conditions, and created My Foundation Diet, a gluten and dairy free elimination food plan. She also shares her passion for the power of food as a teacher of various Healthy Living Immersion programs at Kripalu.
  • Michael

    I am very grateful that Kripalu, (in general), and it’s kitchen, (in particular :-) ), is doing so well, and continues the tradition of teaching inquiry-based learning, and awareness of the moment as it is through direct experience, in all aspects of daily living, (not just “on the mat”). I look back fondly to my experiences as a cook at Kripalu in the late ’90′s, and the lessons I learned then have evolved positively over the years. Again, I am very grateful!

    • KripaluEditor

      Michael,
      Thanks for the gratitude!
      Best to you,
      Kim from Kripalu

      • Michael

        Indeed! :-)