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From an early stage in life, the types of food we eat influence our mood and mental status. What about our personality?

It is widely known that the way we are brought up, our genetic makeup and our surrounding environment all collectively shape the way we are today. They also affect and shape our personalities. A large number of studies have shown how kids exposed to domestic violence might be more vulnerable to having dysfunctional personalities. They might also suffer from abandonment issues, shame, insomnia, lack of empathy, and self-harm. They have a higher tendency to adapt aggressive and anti-social behaviours. Similarly, genetics control other personal traits, such as height, looks, quality of voice and intelligence.

Why Is Food Never Mentioned in This Discussion?

The average human spends around four and a half years of their life time just eating.

However, food is never mentioned in this discussion. The average human spends around four and a half years of their life time just eating. We do also spend a great amount of time reading about food, deciding what to eat and what to cook, etc. Food forms a large part of our lives. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that what you eat influences your personality.

In this article we explored the different ways different kinds of food and ingredients that you consume in your uprising affect your mental health and your personality. 

The Food & Mood Two-Way Feedback System

Diet and the mood form a two-way feedback system; diet influences our mood and then mood controls what we should eat. When this system is in control, very satisfactory mental and physical states can be enjoyed. When a person’s blood sugar level is high (just after having a meal), the person feels energetic and flamboyant. But when blood sugar levels are very high for prolonged periods, the thinking ability of that person will compromise as well as their ability to concentrate. However, as blood sugar levels fall, that person would feel low, dizzy, irritable, weak and hungry. This hunger will make them eat items that contain good levels of sugars to replenish the blood glucose levels. This continuous circle of events illustrates how diet has an influence over mood but also how mood influences diet. 

Nutritional Deficiencies Can Change You Forever

Nutritional deficiencies have an impact on our overall mood and mental condition. Many micronutrients are of particular importance in this regard. Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient found in a variety of foods. It is important for cellular growth as well as for neuronal functions. Its deficiency will not only cause anemia and neurological symptoms but will also affect our mood and mental status on the long run.

Studies have shown that vitamin B12 deficient individuals are more likely to suffer from depression, lethargy, and poor memory.

Folic acid deficiency, when developed during pregnancy, causes depressive disorders in these newborns when they are grown into adults.

In addition to this, they are more prone to developing conditions like psychosis and insomnia. On the other hand, Folic acid deficiency developed during pregnancy causes depressive disorders in these newborns when they are grown into adults.  

That is the effect of only two nutrients on our mental health. This gives us an idea of how various dietary styles, containing various nutrients in various quantities can influence our brains and its functions forever if not handled properly.

Food Is The Housekeeper of Your Brain 

These antioxidants clear all the free radicals present in the brain. They clean the body as well as the mind. The result of this will be a healthier mind without any waste in it.

The human brain keeps on functioning day and night. This requires some sort of fuel to draw energy from. What we eat acts as the fuel and as the energy source to the brain. If we eat healthy foods rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes; we provide the body and the brain with the finest fuel. This will not only provide the energy but will also act as a cleanser. A healthy diet contains numerous amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants along with the basic energy-providing major nutrients. These antioxidants clear all the free radicals present in the brain. They clean the body as well as the mind. The result of this will be a healthier mind without any waste in it. This waste-free mind will then act harmoniously and actively.

These phytochemicals will then suppress the activity of the monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzyme. This enzyme is involved in metabolizing the mood hormone, serotonin. Lower levels of serotonin are associated with higher levels of depression. 

Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes are very healthy for the body as well as for the brain because of their healthy nutritional contents. These food items, when consumed together, provide our bodies with all the essential nutrients including antioxidants and phytochemicals. These phytochemicals will then suppress the activity of the monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzyme. This enzyme is involved in metabolizing the mood hormone, serotonin. Lower levels of serotonin have been associated with higher levels of depression. A plant-based diet rich in phytochemicals can improve the mood by elevating serotonin levels. 

Diets rich in meat are also rich in arachidonic acids. These acids will promote inflammation in the body and the brain as well. The result of this will be increased rates of depression, anger, and aggression.

Mediterranean People Have Better Personality Traits

Studies have compared diets like the Mediterranean and the Western ones among many others. Mediterranean diets, as well as other traditional diets, are rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and seafood. They do not contain processed foods, high levels of sugar or high levels of salt.

These kinds of diets have been found to be associated with better mood and personality traits. They are also 20% to 35% less likely to develop depression.

These diets can be effectively adapted to treat depression for individuals suffering from it.

Coffee Is Mobile & Light. Alcohol Is Hot & Sharp

Eating food is a way of communication between the inside of the body and the surrounding of the body.

When a person consumes fresh, healthy and natural food, their body and personality will feel fresh and healthy. However, when the body gets processed, altered and artificial food, that balance between the body and its natural environment gets upset. That person will be more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and a variety of other problems. These issues will further develop into personality traits if left unnoticed over a long period of time.

According to Ayurveda (a traditional Indian medicine), a your personality and emotions are linked to your blood. Blood is whatever you eat. Small alterations in the biochemical contents of the blood will have direct effects on your brain and eventually your personality. This is because blood is feeding the brain to enable it to function properly. Food altering the amount of phytochemicals and hormones in the blood will affect how you feel, sense, react and behave on the long run. 

According to this school of thought, every food item has distinct features that act on the mind. They cause changes in the mood and personality. As the article cited suggests, watch what you are eating daily and recall how you are feeling at these times. This will give you an indication of the personality trait you have developed due to the long periods of time you spent on developing those daily eating habits. Examples are the regular coffee and alcohol consumption.  

For example, coffee is a mobile and light food type which when consumed causes you to be anxious, hyperactive, and ambitious. On the other hand, Alcohol is hot and sharp which on consumption causes anger, violence, and aggression.

Yes, You Can Influence How You Feel

The above discussion is just a slight idea of dietary impacts on mental health and personality; a lot of research needs to be done in this field so that a well-balanced state in life can be achieved. Every human being is seeking a balanced state.

Consuming a plant-based diet that contains whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is the optimal method to keep your mind healthy and happy. This will not only improve your mood and makes you happier momentarily but will also instill in you as a personality trait.