Eat yourself happy is still an unclear concept for many. We all want to feel good about ourselves. One is happy with a lot of money, the other with many friends. Yet we all have one thing in common: what and how we eat partly determines our happiness. It is not about luck if you would win the lottery, for example, but happiness in the sense of your state of mind and how you feel yourself. It is, therefore, no surprise that when you eat a lot of junk food, you often don’t feel so good and happy afterward.
Not many people know why and how food affects us; that is why it is important to inform each other about this. That’s why we wrote this article, which contains information about the relationship between food and our gut flora, and the influence it has on our mood. In addition, we give several “eat yourself happy with food” tips. That way you will soon feel better about yourself thanks to the right tasty and healthy food!
Eat yourself happy: why food affects our mood
Everything you eat is processed by your body. The larger nutrients, also called macros, nourish your body and provide you with energy. These are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, food consists of more than just these substances. You also have various vitamins and minerals, salts, fibers, and more. The vitamins and minerals play the biggest role in influencing your mood, but all the other nutrients play a role as well. Eat yourself happy is a very literal concept!
The food you eat is mainly processed in your gut. All good and bad nutrients are absorbed there and distributed throughout your body. One of the substances your gut produces is serotonin. This is a hormone that regulates your mood, pain threshold, hunger, and sleep.
The production of serotonin is influenced by your intestinal flora and your intestinal flora is in turn influenced by the food you eat. When you get a lot of good food sources, more serotonin will be produced, so you’re more likely to experience an “eat yourself happy” moment. However, do you eat a lot of foods with bad nutrients? Then your intestines will logically produce less serotonin.
Food also influences your mood and feeling in other ways. For example, when you eat a lot of sugars, your blood sugar level goes up and you have more energy for a short time. This feels very nice for a short period.
What is less pleasant is that your blood sugar level quickly drops again, because the sugars only remain in your blood for a short time. During this decline, you experience a so-called dip. You feel more tired and need more sugars (to get back to the previous energy level).
There are even more effects of different foods on your mood. We’ll go into this in more detail later in this article.
Factors that affect the health of your gut flora
At the same time, this works partly the other way around: what you ingest also affects your intestinal flora. Several things can negatively affect your intestinal flora. This ultimately results in a deteriorated mood.
Below we, therefore, describe which factors affect your intestines. This way you can not only eat yourself happy; in addition, you can try to limit or avoid these factors to improve your mood.
There are different types of drugs, such as antibiotics, that kill harmful bacteria. Nevertheless, they cannot clearly distinguish between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria, killing both versions.
This disrupts the balance of your intestinal flora, which can make you more prone to stomach and intestinal problems. Eat yourself happy by taking some probiotics in this case. After all, a high-quality probiotic improves your intestinal flora.
In addition, there are drugs, such as antidepressants, that disrupt the production and transport of serotonin. As a result, you can suffer from intestinal complaints, as well as experience a disturbed mood.
Mental and physical stress
It’s normal to be nervous before an exam or an important meeting with your boss or family member. Many people quickly suffer from gas or bloating. However, prolonged stress also disrupts your intestinal flora, which can lead to long-term problems.
It’s totally fine to have preferences when it comes to your meals. For example, some prefer a meal consisting of only easily digestible food. But when you eat a too one-sided and unbalanced diet for a long time, this has negative effects on your body.
Think of too few vitamins or a lack of sufficient fiber due to a low-fiber diet. In this way, your intestines do not get enough good nutrients, so that they can no longer do their job properly.
Less serotonin is also produced, which you notice in your mood. In other words, eat yourself happy by balancing the nutrients you take in.
Both chronic and temporary illnesses can affect your gut flora. Crohn’s disease is a good example of this. This disease manifests itself in your gut.
With Crohn’s disease, you have almost constant inflammation in your intestines, which can cause you to suffer from bowel movements and cramps. Also, your immune system is constantly active in your gut, attacking both good and bad bacteria.
This ensures that your intestinal flora cannot function optimally. Other diseases where this is also the case are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis.
Other diseases can cause your intestinal flora to be affected in a bad way, but the above diseases are the most common.
Eat yourself happy with these types of food
Do you want to give your gut a helping hand by eating the right food? Then read on quickly. Eat yourself happy and the following 6 foods go hand in hand!
1. Green tea
Green tea contains a lot of antioxidants that help fight inflammation in your body – including in your gut. In addition, green tea contains caffeine, L-theanine, and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).
These substances have a positive effect on your brain. They ensure that the connections between the cranial nerves are better. The so-called “matcha powder” in particular contains a lot of antioxidants and EGCG, making this tea increasingly popular.
Don’t like tea? Eat yourself happy with a delicious matcha cake or pie, these are to die for!
Do you eat yourself happy? You can also drink yourself happy! Good news for all coffee lovers, as coffee can make you feel better. Caffeine has multiple effects on your brain. It blocks the chemical “adenosine”, which usually makes you feel sleepy.
It also stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine. You are more energetic, feel happier, and have more motivation to accomplish day-to-day tasks. It is not for nothing that coffee is seen as the tool to wake up.
However, it is important not to drink too much coffee, as large amounts of caffeine can have adverse effects. The recommended amount of caffeine is 400mg per day per adult.
Probiotics are a very useful and effective aid for your gut flora and mood. Eat yourself happy with a high-quality probiotic! Probiotics all contain bacteria that are good for your gut. These bacteria help your intestines to better process food and prevent inflammation.
When your intestinal flora functions optimally, it is easier for your body to produce serotonin, so that this hormone is sent to your brain in sufficient quantities. Probiotics are naturally found in fermented foods such as yogurt and kombucha, but you can also use high-quality supplements.
These supplements contain probiotics in higher amounts, so in many cases, you will notice the positive effects faster than if you only eat fermented foods.
4. Eat yourself happy with dark chocolate
What food makes you happy? Chocolate, according to many! Besides the fact that chocolate is liked by many people, dark chocolate is also good for your mood. After all, it contains a lot of antioxidants that ensure that your blood circulation improves.
In addition, dark chocolate contains the mineral magnesium. This mineral is known to improve your sleep rhythm and attenuate symptoms of depression. In short, eat yourself happy with dark chocolate!
It is also important not to eat too much chocolate, because your diet must remain balanced.
Mushrooms are full of good nutrients. For example, they contain a lot of selenium: a mineral that can reduce symptoms of stress and depression.
Mushrooms are also one of the few food sources in which vitamin D occurs naturally. Eat yourself happy with a tasty mushroom soup, or a delicious stew. Vitamin D has a major influence on our mood and it is also the reason that people often suffer from winter depression: they do not get enough vitamin D.
A study of 11 million Americans found that people who added more vitamin D to their diet had fewer problems with depression.
6. Eat yourself happily through fruits and vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables has a lot of influence on your health and mood. Eat yourself happy with this healthy food! They contain all kinds of vitamins and minerals that have a positive influence on your physical and mental health.
In addition, there is often a lot of fiber in vegetables and fruit. These fibers are good for your intestinal flora so that more serotonin can be produced from your intestines.
Moreover, you can make many different tasty and tasty recipes with this fiber-rich food. Do you not like a vegetable or fruit? Then there are dozens of other fruits and vegetables to try.
Eat yourself happy with nutrition summarized
The nutrients from your meals not only affect your brain but also your gut. The majority of serotonin is produced in your gut.
This is a hormone that ensures a good sleep rhythm and a happy feeling. Unfortunately, some factors negatively affect your moods, such as illness, certain medications, an unbalanced diet, and stress.
Fortunately, there are plenty of foods available that make you feel better mentally and physically. So eat yourself happy with some tasty dark chocolate, different fruits, and vegetables, but also coffee, green tea, probiotics, and mushrooms.
These foods are not only a perfect addition to a balanced diet, but also ensure that you get an improved mood.
Do you take medicines that make your body less able to produce or transport serotonin, or do you have a certain disease that influences this? Then it is a good idea to discuss the options with your doctor, because these foods may not be enough for a better mood.