Latest News » Study shows certain eating habits can enhance negative emotions

Your eating habits can affect your brain health and mood.

You don't have to be a nutritionist to know that the food you eat can have a substantial effect on how you feel, both physically and emotionally. Even your favorite comfort foods can essentially work against you by bringing on a sense of lethargy and malaise. Recently, researchers from Pennsylvania State University discovered that the consumption of certain unhealthy foods could also exacerbate pre-existing mood disorders, according to ScienceDaily.

The source states that the researchers analyzed the moods and eating habits of a group of 131 female college students and found that those who reported episodes of binge eating, calorie restriction or generally unhealthy food consumption were more likely to experience substantial negative emotions. More specifically, these behaviors were shown to enhance these sentiments when they were already present.

"This study is unique because it evaluates moods and eating behaviors as they occur in people's daily lives, which can provide a more accurate picture of the relationship between emotions and eating," said Kristin Heron, an associate at the university's Survey Research Center who spearheaded the study.

These findings were presented at the annual American Psychosomatic Society conference held on March 15 in Miami.

In the past, we've also documented that the consumption of certain foods can affect an individual's overall state of mind. Research has shown, for example, that the omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish or dietary supplements can promote brain health and potentially act as a mood-booster. A 2006 study from the University of Pittsburgh showed that these nutrients were linked to increased impulsiveness and happiness, while low rates have long been associated with depression and other disorders.

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