Mood versus Dopamine
No wonder they say that we are what we eat. But the speech in this text will not be so much about the proper nutrition that ensures the optimal functioning of all body systems, how much about the food that affects our mood. As it turned out, between the morning hatred of people in the subway and the conditional eggs, which you ate for breakfast, there is a direct link. We tell how the scientists came to this and what to do (more precisely, what is), so that even in the most unpleasant situations, remain an optimist.
According to a new study conducted at the State University of New York at Binghamton and published by Nutritional Neuroscience, the same diet affects the mental health of young people and adults differently. It is important that the online survey involved people from different countries in different age categories.
Analyzing the data, leading authors of the study Lina Begdache and Nasim Sabounchi found that the mood in young people aged 18-29 is probably dependent on food that positively affects the activity of neurotransmitters (this, for example, meat and meat products ). At the same time, the mood of adults (30 years and older) depends more on food rich in antioxidants (fruits and vegetables), and reducing the conditions for activation of the sympathetic nervous system (consumption of coffee and foods with a high glycemic index, refusal of breakfast).
“One of the main conclusions of our study is that the diet has different effects on a person at one or another age,” Lina Begdash comments in an interview with MedicalXpress. – Another remarkable finding is that young adults are psychologically sensitive to food containing a large number of substances useful to the brain. The point is that regular consumption of meat leads to the accumulation of serotonin and dopamine in the body, and therefore young people who eat white or red meat less than three times a week are at the end more prone to various kinds of mental disorders.”
“But with age, we all become more sensitive to consuming sources of antioxidants and abstaining from food that stimulates stressful reactions,” Begdash continues. – Probably, this happens because of aging, more free radicals (oxidants) appear in the body, so our need for neutralizing substances (antioxidants) increases. In addition, free radicals provoke small disturbances in the brain, so that our ability to regulate stress naturally decreases. And if at the same time we continue to consume “stressful” food, such as coffee or carbohydrates in large quantities, then the likelihood of mental disorders increases. ”
In addition to general conclusions, scientists wanted to see if there was a difference between men and women in the sense of the influence of the diet on mood. As it turned out, there are really small differences here, because there is a gender difference in the morphology of the brain (the female brain is more sensitive to some components of the diet), however, it was decided to consider this difference as insignificant in the framework of a specific study.