Woman eating salad

Relation between food, energy and disposition

You already know that the body’s fuel comes from food. If you don’t eat, you won’t have the energy needed to function. What you might not be aware of is that it’s not as simple as eating any kind of food you want. There are types of food that will affect the amount of energy you have and your mood for that day. Basically, what you eat will have a huge effect on your personality, at least for that day.

One good example of this is food that contains Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, some types of seafood. Eating these types of food will generally help prevent feelings of depression, pessimism, and impulsiveness as these are the traits that are normally found on people with low blood levels of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, according to a study done by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It has also been posited that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as DHA and EPA play a big part in improving brain function, as they help improve the fluidity of the cell membrane.

Certain studies delve into the effects of food consumption outside of physiological factors, and sometimes, cognitive factors play a bigger part. For example, if you eat food that is high in calories, you may experience strong negative emotions such as anxiety and guilt because you’re afraid of gaining weight. In cases like these, the effects have nothing to do with the ingredients of the food but more on your perception.

The biggest takeaway is to be conscious of the food that you eat and temper intake with changes to your attitude towards food. The health issues are already a given, but even if you don’t care about what you’d look and feel like years down the line (and you should!), know that your diet will have immediate effects on how you function and how you are perceived on a day-to-day basis.

References:

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (2006, March 4). Omega 3 Fatty Acids Influence Mood, Impulsivity And Personality, Study Indicates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 28, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060303205050.htm

Ottley, Carol. 2000. Food and mood. Nursing Standard, 15(2): 46-52.