Although a high protein diet can be an effective dietary approach for weight loss, its long-term effect on psychological functions, including mood and cognition might be very bad. Besides being something known, I have witnessed this personally when dealing with people who changed their balanced diet to a pure protein one. They are always stressed and lose their temper easily.
You can also see this in the premenstrual carbohydrate cravings experienced by 70 percent of women and the usual binging of those who are on high-protein diets for more than two weeks.
Carbohydrates make us feel relaxed, focused, and always in a good mood.
Why? Here is a short mechanism:
After consumption of a carbohydrate-rich meal, the hormone insulin is secreted. Insulin lowers the blood levels of most amino acids (the building blocks of protein), except for tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin).
When there is a larger proportion of tryptophan, it enters the brain at a higher rate, thus boosting serotonin production. Protein-rich food has been found to prevent serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for elevating our mood, leading us to feel sleepy, relaxed and satisfied after a rich carbohydrate meal.
Another benefit of carbohydrates is their impact on wakefulness. A high-carb breakfast for example improves mental acuity, decreases fatigue, and makes you generally feel positive. You need to be energetic, healthy and happy when following a diet plan.
The best choices of carbohydrate foods are always those that are high in fiber to prevent constipation. So go for whole grain breads, bran flakes, whole fruits, brown rice and pasta.
When choosing your fats, go for the unsaturated fat containing meals rather than fried fatty meals. Fat fried and processed foods make you feel tired and cause abdominal discomfort.
Five top foods that boost your mood:
Avocado: helps in keeping the receptors in your brain sensitive to serotonin.
Pineapple: The manganese and thiamin in pineapple help to relax and increase concentration
Oatmeal: Triggers the release of serotonin, a hormone that relaxes you.
Whole grains: Improve alertness, concentration and memory.
Chocolate: a stimulant that triggers the release of serotonin and endorphins
However, do not go for any type of diet without asking an expert. A diet is specific to a person and is based on their health and other conditions.
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