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Food For Thought: How What You Eat Impacts Your Mood

When you’re having a bad day, what’s better than eating your favorite comfort food to cheer yourself up?

Indulging in your favorite treats from time to time as a way to cope is a normal part of the human experience. (Because who doesn’t love a good pint of ice cream to drown their sorrows in?) But once you start to make it a habit, you can start to do more harm to your mood than good.

As the saying goes, you are what you eat, so keep reading, and let’s take a closer look at the ways diet can impact mental health:

So, what’s food really got to do with my mood?

Eating well for mental health isn’t just another Internet myth. The foods we eat on a daily basis have a direct effect on our mood, brain function, and mental health, whether we realize it or not.

Our brain and the microbiome in our bodies' digestive tract are both responsible for regulating mood, and food is the necessary fuel that our bodies need in order to do their job well. But not just any kind of food.

What food is bad for mental health?

Research shows that a low-nutrient, high-sugar, and processed diet is correlated with higher rates of depression and anxiety. Notably, some experts believe that the biggest culprit that causes stress, jitters, or low mood is the habit of not eating at all.

This isn’t to say that when you’re feeling down, you aren’t allowed your favorite fast food meal. But knowing this information is a good reminder that balance in the foods we eat is key for promoting a healthy mood.

What foods promote better mental health?

The keys to supporting increased well-being are:

  • Eating regularly.

  • Staying hydrated.

  • Eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Avoid trans fats.

  • Practice mindful eating.

There’s no such thing as having a perfect diet. As you continue on, simply challenge yourself to build a habit of noticing the way food makes you feel, and over time, you’ll learn more about your own body, understanding what food makes you feel at your best!


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