Is our food influencing our mood?

by Christina on December 16, 2010

A study just came out suggesting food may influence our moods and mental health.

Scientist Joseph Garner fed mice diets high in sugar and tryptophan (an amino acid that’s a precursor to serotonin – known to influence mood and impulses). He found that mice that already exhibited abnormal hail-pulling (trichotillomania) actually worsened their hair-pulling or developed new abnormal scratching behavior. More concerning, healthy mice also developed these abnormal behaviors! When the mice got off the diet, the negative behaviors stopped.

He asks:

“What if the increase of simple sugars in the American diet is contributing to the increase of these diseases?”

Great question and something we should be answering…

Have you noticed any foods that affect your mood? Please share!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Claudia December 16, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Hi Christina, welcome to wordpress, the website looks great!!!

I am definitely influenced by the foods I eat, too much sugar creates harsh imbalances and makes me moody for example…


V December 17, 2010 at 10:24 am

Hi Christina,

Many years ago, I moved from Spain to the UK to do a postgraduate degree. Up until them, I had always lived with my parents so I would eat whatever was for lunch. As you might know, the so-called Mediterranean Diet is very healthy (not a lot of meat, lots of fish and fresh vegetables and fruits). Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of the food I was served at college (and I didn’t know how to cook). To escape from the mushy peas,overboiled broccoli and battered potatoes and due to the stress of my course (a very tough degree in a very tough department) I started living on cheap chocolate (KitKat and the like) and lots of coffee to get me through the day.

The mood swings were horrendous and that year I plunged into a deep depression (which I pray to God I never have to go through again). By the end of that year, I had reached rock bottom and when I moved back to Spain I became interested in nutrition and exercise. These two things combined turned my life around really quickly and I have kept the interest ever since.


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