The link between the food we eat and the development of mood disorders is well established. There are two main ways that food can affect mood. Firstly, certain foods can directly affect mood by acting on the central nervous system. Many plant chemicals, certain vitamins and minerals and even macronutrients such as carbohydrates can have this effect. Secondly, foods can act indirectly, such as through the ability to change the gut microbiota, which in turn can have a significant effect on metabolism and mood. Studies have investigated the effects of foods on mood and consistently shown that diets containing fruit, vegetables and other plant foods are beneficial to the mood. In contrast, foods that are considered unhealthy, such as those found in high amounts in the typical estern diet, such as high fat, high sugar and high energy foods, can affect mood positively in the short term, but negatively over the long term. This is because such foods act on the reward system of the brain in a similar way to addictive drugs.
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