How What You Eat Affects the Way You Think

How What You Eat Affects the Way You Think

Iron-rich foods such as asparagus can help your emotional well-being improve. (iStock photo)

Are you aware of the fact that there are types of foods that can directly affect your mood?

Most of us know this, but do we really care to take a note of foods that we are putting into our body? Below is information on the effect of various types of food on your health as well as your mood:

Processed foods: Why to avoid? Most people don’t realize it, but gorging on processed foods that are usually rich in sugar and fat contributes to depositing excessive pounds on their tummy and increasing their stress hormones. When hormones turn wacky, it’s normal to feel drained and exhausted.

What is more damaging is that processed foods give you a quick burst of energy, but bring you down fast. Did you know this energy spike-crash cycle can have a negative effect on your health?

What’s so good about natural foods? It’s not an easy task changing to natural foods all at once. But, the truth is that consuming a low-glycemic diet, which includes fresh and natural foods, can help you become more tranquil and composed. And, when you are at peace, you can easily combat the deadly effects of anxiety and unwanted stress.

Although people know the goodness of natural foods, they usually make wrong food choices because of the lack of sleep and stress associated with this vicious cycle. Your stressed body increases the levels of cortisol, which surges your cravings for processed and carbohydrate-rich foods while reducing your desire to consume healthy foods that are rich in proteins and vegetables.

Processed foods that are composed of sugar are known to cause instant mood swings. At first, sugar will alleviate your mood, but later make you feel sluggish and lethargic. The study published in the ‘Natural Health Research Institute,’ indicates that individuals whose daily meal portions included 20 percent of processed foods were found to have more than 50 percent increased risk of becoming afflicted with depression.

Enjoy carbohydrate-rich foods in moderation. Experts suggest that eating carbohydrate-rich foods obtained from healthy sources in moderation is not a problem; such foods even work to provide you with an ephemeral mood lift. Let’s see how it’s happening.

The brain chemical serotonin is known to boost your feeling of fullness and satisfaction. Serotonin is manufactured out of the amino acid tryptophan, which is abundantly found in carbohydrate-rich foods. When you are stressed, the amount of serotonin is quickly washed-out and this leaves your body desiring foods (carbs) that can restore the levels of serotonin.

Even though carbohydrates can help to restore your serotonin levels, they can pose a problem once you develop strong cravings for them and they occupy the major portion of your meals. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates can result in fatigue and brain fog. Another important thing is that they can replace your need of consuming healthy foods such as lean proteins and vegetables.

Start making healthier food choicesEat a healthy breakfast. When you are short of time to prepare healthy and nutritious food, it is a pretty good excuse to get hold of unhealthy foods. Breakfast is the first meal of your day that prepares you to face the challenges ahead of you. Thus, it is imperative to pick nutritious foods for breakfast.

Usually, people prefer eating pancakes, bagels, and muffins for breakfast. These are carbohydrate-rich foods that can leave you drowsier than when you first stepped out of your bed, and make you crave more sugary foods for the rest of the day.

Include omega-3 fatty acids. Deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids can cause a decline in cognitive memory and lead to depression. You should take a regular dosage of omega-3s in order to help fight various disorders including impulsivity, depression, and pessimism.

The best way to ensure the daily-recommended dosage of omega-3s is by taking a daily supplement along with including Omega-3s rich foods in your diet. Consider consuming at least two servings of fatty fish per week such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel. You may also add foods such as walnuts and flaxseeds in your diet on a regular basis.

Include iron-rich foods. Most people underestimate the importance of adequate iron in their diet. It is important to note that a lack of iron causes of inattention, depression, and fatigue. Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science has reported that iron deficiency is one of the common nutrient deficiencies that usually affects vegetarians, children, and women.

You can easily retain the optimum levels of iron by adding iron-rich foods in your diet such as green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, liver, seafood, beans, and vegetables like asparagus and broccoli.

Include fresh fruits and vegetables. There are certain foods that can dull your mood while there are some that can actually make you livelier. Healthy snacks like nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish are a few of the best food choices to make when you want to boost your mood and feel great.

Exclude processed foods. We have already discussed at length the harmful effects of processed foods on your health. In order to make sure that you are receiving adequate nutrients, begin by eliminating all processed foods from your diet and include healthy protein sources and whole foods. Prefer choosing nutrient-dense foods and high-quality organic proteins.

Don Colbert, M.D. has been board certified in Family Practice for over 25 years and practices anti-aging and integrative medicine.

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Arthritis Patients are Taking Too Many Painkillers

Arthritis patients are taking too many painkillers – raising their risk of internal bleeding, heart attack and stroke
  • New study found one in five osteoarthritis sufferers is taking two types of anti-inflammatory painkiller increasing their risk of side effects
  • Report compiled by Arthritis Research UK found 97% of patients have restricted movement struggling to walk, climb the stairs and play sport
  • Researchers found 90% of sufferers take drug-based medicines


PUBLISHED: 14:36 GMT, 27 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:07 GMT, 27 August 2014


Arthritis patients in the UK are risking their health by taking too many painkillers, scientists have warned.

A new study found almost one in five sufferers are taking two anti-inflammatories to manage their condition, putting themselves at risk of side effects including gastric bleeds, heart attack and stroke.

The research found 97 per cent of patients with osteoarthritis had restricted movement – and more than seven out of 10 had reduced mobility, with some almost unable to move at all.

Those afflicted by the condition struggle with everyday activities including walking, climbing the stairs and taking part in sports

Research by Arthritis UK, Pro Bono Bio and Lloyds Pharmacy, has found one in five osteoarthritis sufferers are taking two different anti-inflammatories, putting themselves at risk of gastric bleed, stroke and heart attacks

Research by Arthritis UK, Pro Bono Bio and Lloyds Pharmacy, has found one in five osteoarthritis sufferers are taking two different anti-inflammatories, putting themselves at risk of gastric bleed, stroke and heart attacks

The study, carried out by Arthritis UK, Lloyds Pharmacy and nanotechnology firm Pro Bono Bio, revealed 90 per cent of respondents were taking drug-based medicines.

And three-quarters used more than one treatment to manage their condition.

Yet almost half of those with OA complained of side effects, as a result of their medication, with almost nine in 10 worried about the complications.

Osteoarthritis affects nearly nine million people in Britain and costs the NHS £5.2 billion-a-year in direct healthcare costs, according to the charity Arthritis Research UK.

Dr Liam O’Toole, CEO of Arthritis Research UK, said: ‘The findings of this survey highlight the debilitating pain that the one in six people with arthritis in the UK are facing every day.

‘Pain is one of the main symptoms of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions. For some people, the pain is long-lasting and interferes with their daily life, stopping them doing the things they enjoy.

‘All of our work is focused on taking the pain away from people who have arthritis so that they remain active, doing the things that they love.

The aim of the research was to better understand the impact the condition has on patients’ lives, and help determine the use of those treatments currently available. 

It found doctors and patients struggle to control the pain and stiffness caused by OA, a disease for which there is currently no cure. 

In total 440 people with the condition, took part in the study over a four-month period from January to May this year.


Osteoarthritis affects around nine million people across the UK. Of those surveyed with OA, 57 per cent were taking a pain pill, including aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac

Osteoarthritis affects around nine million people across the UK. Of those surveyed with OA, 57 per cent were taking a pain pill, including aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac

Osteoarthritis affects around nine million people across the UK. Of those surveyed with OA, 57 per cent were taking a pain pill, including aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac. Pictured are X-rays of an arthritic knee and ankle

Of those surveyed, 61 per cent had officially been diagnosed with OA.

They ranged in age from 20 to 90 years, with the majority in the over-50s bracket.

Almost nine out of 10 were female and the knee was the most affected joint.

Of those with OA, 57 per cent were taking a pain pill from the class of medication known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs.

These include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib and diclofenac – some are prescribed, others can be bought over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets.

The report states: ‘This class of medicine is well known to cause side effects, especially in patients who have risk factors. 

‘These risk factors include being elderly, having conditions such as high blood pressure, having ulcers, having had a previous heart attack or taking certain other medications.

‘Extremely worrying is the significant number of patients (19 per cent) who report that they are taking two oral NSAIDs at the same time.’


One osteoarthritis patient who took part in the survey, Pat Fuller, 73, of Tyne and Wear, said: ‘I have arthritis all over my body, but it’s worst in my knees. I couldn’t walk and I couldn’t sleep from the pain.

‘It looked like I’d have to either have knee replacements or cease to live on my own, and I didn’t want to go down the route of operations.

‘Five years ago I had a triple bypass and I don’t recover very well from operations, so I really didn’t want to have the knees done, but now, because I’m using the new gel, I don’t have to.

‘I can now keep the pain away and have my mobility back — and I’m enjoying a proper night’s sleep.’

Ninety per cent of respondents showed interest in a new drug-free treatment, proven to be effective against pain and stiffness, but has none of the side-effects of NSAIDs.

The treatment, Flexiseq, was launched by Arthritis Research UK in December. 

Dr John Dickson, GP and a co-founder of the Primary Care Rheumatology Society, said: ‘I read with interest the findings of this survey as they clearly reflect my experience that many patients continue to live with terrible pain and stiffness, despite trying many available treatments.

Michael Earl, of Flexiseq manufacturers Pro Bono Bio, said: ‘This survey demonstrates the real need that patients and doctors have for effective and safer treatment options.

‘Flexiseq, which is drug-free and has been shown to be as effective as a leading pain tablet, celecoxib, is already being used by many patients and we are delighted by the positive feedback we are getting from these users and from healthcare professionals.’

Nitin Makadia, pharmacist and pain expert at LloydsPharmacy, said: ‘The results of the survey show a greater need for support and information around medicine management for those living with osteoarthritis. 

‘At LloydsPharmacy we have taken our support for these patients one step further by offering a pain service that gives patients the opportunity to discuss their pain concerns and get advice from a pharmacist about how they can manage their pain, not just with medication but also through lifestyle changes.’  

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