I have always believed that there is a direct association with what we put into our bodies and our mindset.
Some of it may be brought on by ourselves, for example, ‘If I eat this chocolate bar, I am going to hate myself after it’. – That is an affirmation, you are affirming that you are going to hate yourself, so when you actually ‘give in’ and eat the chocolate bar, that’s exactly how you are going to feel. However, it goes a little bit deeper than that. Your brain is always ‘ON’ and it takes care of pretty much everything from your thoughts to your body’s movement and it even works whilst we are sleeping. So like our visible body, it’s hugely important to fuel our brain correctly. The science? Serotonin (commonly referred to as the happy hormone) is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods and inhibit pain. Since about 95% of your Serotonin is produced in your gut it makes sense that not only is the gut digesting the food, but it is also guiding our emotions.
Serotonin is used to transmit messages between nerve cells; it is thought to be active in constricting smooth muscles and contributing to wellness and happiness. It also appears to play a key role in maintaining mood balance. “Low Serotonin levels have been linked to depression” (‘www.medicalnewstoday.com’)
Food is powerful and in modern day nutrition it is proven that it can create or help to prevent certain diseases. For example, processed meats have been proven to cause cancer and are Carcinogenic to the human body (Just a note Asbestos and Arsenic are also classed as Carcinogenetic to the human body). The World Health Organisation (WHO) ran a study where 22 experts from 10 countries reviewed more than 800 studies to reach their conclusions. They found that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. That’s the equivalent of about 4 strips of bacon or 1 hot dog. For red meat, there was evidence of increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer (www.worldhealthorganisation.com)
In 2012, WHO also went on to report that several of the most common cancers have to do with your gastrointestinal system. Shocking right?
Deeper again – Tryptophan is an amino acid that is important in the production of Serotonin in the body. We cannot make Tryptophan in the body, so we must obtain it from our diet. Again this proves that our moods and happiness levels are directly associated to the food we eat.
So if my findings and those from The World Health Organisation are not quite enough to make you think more closely about what you are actually putting into your body and how our diet contributes to our mood and happiness, think about this- maybe the food we eat has a spiritual and energetic effect on the body also? Many religions refrain from certain meats for spiritual reasons. Vegetarianism is mandatory for everyone; in Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism. Vegetarianism, called shakahara in Sanskrit, is an essential virtue in Hindu thought and practice. It is rooted in the spiritual aspiration to maintain a balanced state of mind and body. Hindus also believe that eating meat is not only detrimental to one’s spiritual life, but also harmful to one’s health and the environment.
Personally, I believe meat and all animal products are surrounded with negativity, as they are from an animal that is highly likely to have suffered and died in pain and this is one of the reasons I follow a vegan ‘diet’. However aside from my personal beliefs, having a healthy gut is vital for the production of Serotonin which as we have addressed, is responsible for our mood and happiness levels, so I highly recommend limiting foods that negatively alter gut bacteria e.g. artificial sweeteners, trans fats and processed foods.
Try this for a month as see how you feel.