We all know that a good ice cream or a tasty Neapolitan pizza bring a good mood and perhaps this truth is the basis of the favorite consumption of these foods, but because they help us to live better
The mood is often conditioned by the type of diet that we are following, that’s why diet and depression can go hand in hand.
Food craving and antidepressant foods
Excluding psycho-pathologies also clinically characterized by an intrinsic reduction in mood, because a correct diet is well suited to a healthy and valid mood.
To better understand the physiological relationship between mood and food, let’s take as an example those who are following a low-calorie diet characterized mostly by a low percentage of carbohydrates (mainly simple sugars) and fats. It is very likely that in front of a bar of chocolate or a good ice cream or perhaps a nice crunchy suppli, he will not be affected by the tempting action of his own ancestral consumption impulses: and in practice in the face of a terrible fight between the angel of good intentions and the devil of desire.
What actually happens in his brain is a “food craving” breakout,as the Anglo-Saxons define it, and that is the terrible impulse to consume something and, specifically, something sweet and / or fatty. But because this does not normally happen if you put in front of it a nice plate of plain boiled courgettes
Serotonin and foods against depression
The answer is to be found in the complex biochemical relationship between serotonin, the main chemical mediator that regulates mood , and the mood itself. Low levels of brain serotonin are closely correlated with a low level of sugar in the brain and consequently this relationship is unconsciously perceived as an alarm by the person who almost automatically feels the urge (physiologically induced) to rebalance the relationshipwith ingestion of sugar. This explains the relationship between diet and depression or, more often, bad mood.
The same happens with the consumption of something that contains fat such as suppli or pizza. There is also to add that the production of cerebral endorphins (morphine-like substances inducing euphoria, joy, satisfaction) are strongly increased with the ingestion of sugars and fats with the diet and this also tends to explain precisely the “food craving” and that is the irresistible desire to take something sweet and / or fatty (perhaps associated, such as a good ice cream or a bar of chocolate) to feel happy and satisfied.
Depression and nutrition: don’t give up on sugars and fats
The practical implication of what has been said can only be to advise those who follow strict low-calorie diets low in carbohydrates and lipids (unfortunately very common), never to leave out foods such as sugar and fats.
A small amount of these must be present daily in the daily diet, perhaps with small quantities (a tasty strawberry or a teaspoon of extra oil in the salad is also sufficient). This quickly balances the hormonal and chemical ratios indicated above and undoubtedly satisfies a sacrifice which, probably, will have to be prolonged for a few months.
On the other hand, in my opinion, unbalanced and predominantly high-protein diets are dangerous, especially when proteins are ingested exclusively in the form of commercial food supplements (only amino acids): with few sugars and fats, the cerebral alarm would inevitably trigger us warns of an impending “depression” danger that the food craving will try to avert.
Therefore, the advice, in following dietary dietary schemes aimed at losing weight, is to rely not so much on the fashion indications available daily in the newspapers as on a good nutritionist who has a primary interest in safeguarding the health of his patient as well as helping him in his intent. to lose weight.