The Saying is True—You Are What You Eat

We have all heard the old saying “you are what you eat.” While you shouldn’t take the saying too literally, the message behind it is true. What you eat has a significant impact on your overall health and how your body functions. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, your diet even affects your emotions and behavior.

The burgeoning field of nutritional psychiatry is finding there are many consequences and correlations between not only what you eat, how you feel, and how you ultimately behave, but also the kinds of bacteria that live in your gut.
— Eva Selhub, MD
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According to the article, 95% of your serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation, is produced in your gut. The amount of serotonin produced is influenced by the good bacteria in your gut. These good bacteria are found in natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as probiotic supplements.

Initial studies suggest that a diet rich in foods that contain these good bacteria may be able to prevent depression, reduce anxiety, and even improve your perception of stress. Think about it. It makes sense. In order for your body to function at its best it’s important to supply it with nutritious food. 

Though nutritional psychiatry is still an emerging field, it has the potential to change the way we use food. Will health professionals start prescribing specific diets instead of medicine in the future? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, consider encouraging your patients to experiment with the way different foods make them feel. Small dietary changes could make a big difference.