WESTON, Fla. – In these stressful times, it’s easy to look for sources of comfort, including in the foods we eat.
But choosing the wrong things can actually cause greater stress on several key areas of the body.
Because the brain and the gut are directly connected via the vagus nerve, Candace O’Neill, a registered dietician with the Cleveland Clinic Weston said that food can have a direct impact on your mood.
“Food can definitely affect the way we think and feel and you may notice sometimes when you eat something sweet you get pleasure sensation in our bodies. Now when we chronically overeat sweet food we’re going to get that feel good sensation, but that’s negatively going to affect our gut microbiome. So there’s actually foods that have health promoting compounds that still provide a sense of pleasure and allow us to have those endorphins but are more healthful for us,” O’Neill said.
Those foods include ones rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which can raise serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain and even help with sleep.
But if you’re struggling with negative emotions, avoid simple sugars and especially trans-fats, which have been linked to increased anger and aggression.