Food And Mood Essay

Food And Mood Essay

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People used to consider food that it only affects the body. However, the link between food and mood is drawing public attention lately. In fact, many articles about how food affects our moods have been published. According to one article, . . . the right foods, or the natural neurochemicals they contain, can enhance mental capabilities help you concentrate, tune sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated, magnify memory, speed reaction times, defuse stress, perhaps even prevent brain aging
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(Blaun 35). Actually, people have been using certain foods to control moods without scientific proof ;for example, we often take a cup of hot-milk when we have a trouble getting to sleep. However, recent researches have scientifically proved to the deep relationship between our diets and moods as follows. Food affects not only our physical frame, but also our moods. In the words of a consulting nutritionist, Somer, What we eat affects our memory, mood and vitality long
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before it affects our heart and bones. . . . what you ate this morning can affect how you perform and how you feel this afternoon" (58). The reason why the food we eat affects our moods is that [certain foods] affects the brain s synthesis of neurotransmitters, substances necessary for conducting nerve impulses (Trankina, par. 3). In the brain, neurotransmitters are manufactured from the amino acids and other substances supplied by diet (Blaun 41). By passing messages
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from one brain cell to another, neurotransmitters regulate emotions, hunger, moods and behaviors (Lippert 126 ;Somer 58). Neurotransmitters are the key to for affections to our moods through our diet. Therefore, we can improve our thoughts, emotions, attitudes and performances if we take right foods and wisely control neurotransmitters. There are some neurotransmitters that are supplied by diet and have affections to mood. According to Trankina, the neurotransmitter serotonin is intimately involved with food intake (par. 3). Functions of serotonin
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include sleep regulation and anxiety reduction, and tryptophan, the amino acid found in food protein, makes serotonin in the brain (Blaun 41 ;Trankina, par. 9). However, a professor of biological sciences and adjunct associate professor of physiology, Trankina explains: . . . serotonin synthesis is not enhanced by protein-rich foods. . . . Tryptophan shares a transport system into the brain with five other amino acids . . .. When protein intake is high, tryptophan is overpowered by the other
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amino acids for places on the shuttle, and its concentration in the brain decreases. Consequently, the rate of serotonin synthesis in the brain tapers off. (par. 10) Bonni Spring, a professor of psychology, states, "The carbohydrates raise the level of tryptophan that is converted to serotonin" (qtd. in Lippert 126). Therefore, carbohydrate-rich foods help our edgy feeling unwind especially when it is taken with protein-rich food. There are other neurotransmitters that can be supplied by food intake and
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have positive effects. For instance, acetylcholine is essential in memory formation and maintenance. It is manufactured from the fatlike B vitamin choline found in egg-yolks and organ meats (Blaun 41). On the other hand, there are neurotransmitters that lead to negative affects on our moods ;for instance, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, collectively called catecholamines, control arousal and anxiety states (Blaun 41). As mentioned above, foods can affect our moods both positively and negatively depending on their effects on neurotransmitters. It
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is difficult to make the right decision about how and when we eat food in order to take advantages of its effects on our moods ;because there are food having positive effects, negative affects. Moreover, there are foods that can work both positively and negatively
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