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Health news and blog

    Wellness and preventative medicine

    How the food you eat can impact your mental health

    The simple things you can do to keep yourself happy and healthier

    woman preparing healthy food

    The connection between food and our mood is so much more important than you may realize.

    90% of our body’s serotonin is made in our gut and only 10% of it is made in our brains. Serotonin is chemical that our body uses to send messages that control our mood, behavior, memory, and digestion.

    This means feeding our body the right things can ensure we have what we need to make ourselves feel happy and be healthy.

    You can learn more about serotonin and the role it plays in your body at the next Health and Wellness Webinar.

    Brooklin Clements, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at the Utah Valley Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Center said, “We can make a really big impact by just trying to eat 1% better than we did yesterday. If that means eating one extra serving of vegetables at lunch, that is a step forward. That is improvement.”

    Some more easy ideas from Brooklin include:

    • Instead of pairing a sandwich with French fries or potato chips, go for a vegetable or something that’s higher in fiber
    • Eat a variety of foods in a variety of colors. Each one serves a unique purpose in powering our body
    • Take omega-3 fish oil to help with inflammation or try vegan algal oil to avoid the fishy tasting burps
    • Take a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to make the bacteria in your gut healthier

    There are also plenty of foods you may already enjoy that naturally boost serotonin. These include salmon, eggs, cheese, turkey, tofu, pineapple, nuts, oats, and seeds.

    Another thing we can do to help us feel better physically and mentally is limit the amount of highly processed foods we eat.

    Clements said, “Typically, after eating those foods that don't have a lot of fiber or protein our bodies generally absorb them quickly and can even release stress hormones in response to that and that alone can cause us to be crabby.”

    She also said making small changes to our diets can also make a big difference when it comes to chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, bowel diseases and even annoying symptoms we take for granted like bloating, tiredness, and GI issues.

    Making changes to your diet on your own isn’t always easy, but you can find support with one our or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists at the Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Centers.

    Book an appointment