Documentary Explores Link Between Mood and Diet

By Dr. Mercola

The connection between your food and your mood has been the focus of occasional scientific inquiry over the past couple of decades.

Your diet can have a pronounced biochemical effect on your mental health, but the reverse is also true—your emotional state can influence the foods you choose, as well as being a major force behind food cravings.

Dr. Brian Wansink1 of Cornell University, author of more than 200 articles and books about the psychology of eating, is featured in the PBS documentary “Food on the Brain.”

This program explores the psychology of eating and provides tips and tricks for making better food choices when faced with the overwhelming number of products in supermarkets today.

Your Foods Influence Your Moods—And Vice Versa

The average supermarket now carries 43,844 different products.2 How can you even begin to make good choices when there are so many products from which to choose? Going shopping can be overwhelming.

Shoppers report that an abundance of choice can make decision-making difficult, and five percent of shoppers will simply walk away empty-handed when the scope of choices makes selection too overwhelming.3

Research has shown that an unprocessed food based diet, including fermented foods to optimize your gut flora, supports positive mood and optimal mental health.

For example, dark chocolate, berries, coffee, bananas, omega-3 fats, and turmeric (curcumin) tend to boost your mood, whereas sugar, wheat (gluten), and processed foods have been linked to poor mood.

But the influence also works in the other direction. Studies show that your emotional state may significantly control the types of foods you choose, as well as how much food you’re inclined to eat.

Could Avoiding Overeating Be as Simple as Thinking Happy Thoughts?

A series of fascinating studies4 by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab (run by Dr. Wansink) were designed to explain the mechanisms

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