How Food Affects Our Happiness

It may sound cliché, but it’s true: 

We are what we eat.

The foods we consume on a daily basis impact our energy levels, mood, emotional wellness, and health. 

Therefore, we need to make mindful decisions on what we eat, and, just as important, what we avoid if we want to feel happy, energetic, and emotionally healthy.

How Foods Affect Our Thoughts, Mood, and Emotional Wellness

It’s no secret that the average person’s diet quality has been declining steadily in the last few decades. And a single glance at statistics proves it.

According to one such statistic, in the 2013-14 period, more than a third of all adults were overweight or obese (1). In 1990, 11.1% of the US population was obese (2). In 2016, that number topped 38%.

With that, all sorts of other problems begin to show their heads, both on a personal and national level.

More and more people in the US are reporting less satisfaction and happiness with their lives. The happiness score has been steadily declining in the last decade or so (3). Also, according to some sources, 16.2 million US adults have experienced a major depressive episode within the last year (4).

Now, is this all thanks to the Western diet that we’ve adopted? I doubt that. There are tons of factors that influence how we feel and how satisfied we are with our lives.

But nutrition helps. Or harms, in this case.

The truth is, there are a lot of things that are at least somewhat out of our control. But, how we eat and how we treat our bodies isn’t one of them. That is fully within our grasp. 

Because of that, we must make the best choices and do everything in our power to elevate our emotional wellness and health. 

One recent study found that a high intake of sugar from sweet foods and drinks adversely affects long-term psychological health (5). Another similar study found that high-glycemic load diets (fast digesting carbs, generally junk food) were associated with poor mood, depression, and low energy levels (6).

A systematic review looked at 12 studies with the goal of determining what the effects of diet quality are on mood, depression, and anxiety in children (7). Though not firm, their findings suggest that early nutritional habits may play a huge role in the later development of emotional and mental health. 

So, it’s not just about ourselves. We also need to strive and set good examples for our children, as well.

Tons of research out there suggests that whole, nutrient-dense foods deliver amazing benefits for us. Decreased risks of chronic disease and cancer, improved mood, less depression and anxiety, improved energy levels, improved digestion, well-being, and emotional wellness (891011121314).

The Bottom Line

Here, at Lucid Vitality, we are passionate about helping people lead better and more satisfying lives through movement and good nutrition. 

We understand the critical importance of fueling the body with good foods, but we also understand that proper habits need to be established before long-term benefits can be seen.

After all, everyone can stick to a healthy diet for a week. And though there would be benefits, you need to make healthy foods part of your life, a habit.

Therefore, we’ve made it our goal to teach people about the importance of clean eating to improve wellness. 

 We have a 100 Days of Wellness Program that shows people, step-by-step, how to build a healthy diet and how to pair a variety of foods for optimum digestion.

 We also teach and encourage people how to cook more at home and rely less on eating out to meet their nutritional needs.

But, perhaps, most importantly, we focus more on how nutrition affects brain and body function and less on simply losing weight.

At the end of the day, once you establish the good habits, any weight loss that you strive for will happen naturally. But it all starts with emotional wellness and good health.